Monday, June 16, 2014

Nigeria: Another attack on Christian village

ABUJA/NAIROBI (BosNewsLife)– Christians in Kenya and Nigeria were mourning Monday, June 16, the aftermath of two massive attacks by Islamic militants in which at least some 120 people died.

In Kenya’s coastal town of Mpeketoni dozens of suspected Islamic militants wielding automatic weapons attacked the police station, torched two hotels and sprayed bullets into the street killing at least 48 people, officials said.

The overnight attack was concentrated around the Breeze View Hotel where residents were watching the World Cup. Witnesses said gunmen pulled the men aside and ordered the women to watch as they killed them.

The attackers reportedly told the women that that’s what Kenyan troops are doing to men neighboring inside Somalia. Authorities blamed the Somalia-based al-Shabab group, which has killed several

Elsewhere in Nigeria, Christians were still dealing with the aftermath of June 1 violence involving over 100 Muslim militants who stormed the predominantly Christian village of Attagara in Borno State’s Gwoza Local Government Area.

‘ALLAH IS GREAT’

Chanting “Allah Akbar,” or ‘Allah is Great’ the assailants opened fire killing over 25 and injuring more than 50 others, Christians said.

“Although believers sought help from military personnel at a checkpoint just a few kilometres away, the military refused to intervene,” explained advocacy and aid group Voice of the Martyrs Canada (VOMC) in comments to BosNewsLife.

Christian youth said they have begun protecting the community, and especially children, by trying to ousting the militants with weapons of their own. “Despite church leaders urging them not to pursue violence, the youths nonetheless killed several of the militants,” VOMC said.

Two days later, other militants of the group reportedly returned to the village. “Dressed in army uniforms, they told the Christians to gather at a church building in order to brief them on security challenges.

Approximately 45 unsuspecting believers went to the church where they were all brutally shot and killed,” said VOMC which works in the area.

PREGNANT WOMEN ATTACKED

Hundreds of other assailants allegedly joined the assault, shooting at any Christians they saw, including pregnant women and young children.

Other surrounding villages were also attacked, with assailants reportedly murdering believers and burning down buildings.

Militants linked to, or inspired by, the Boko Haram group were believed to be responsible. Boko Haram, which means ‘Western education is sinful’ has launched an ant-Christian campaign to establish an Islamic state.

Local Muslims in the villages “celebrated the attack and looted the homes of the victimized believers,” according to VOMC investigators. The advocacy group said it had urged its supporters to pray that, “In the midst of the overwhelming sorrow and pain experienced by the Christians of these attacked villages…[they] know that our Lord is God and sovereign over all” referring to Bible text Psalm 46:10.

Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan, a Christian, has come under local and international pressure to improve protection of Christians, who comprise roughly 40 percent of the country’s heavily Muslim population of 177 million people.