In the latest news of persecution out of Nigeria, the global church monitoring organization Open Doors has reported that at least 27 individuals were killed over the past week when the Boko Haram Islamist terrorist group attacked and burned at least three Christian churches in the nation's Borno state.
According to witnesses quoted by Open Doors, gunmen identified with Boko Haram entered the Christian village of Dille on July 14. Witnesses said the terrorists were armed with anti-aircraft guns, rocket propelled launchers, and explosives, and proceeded to kill over two dozen residents of the village and set fire to the three church facilities.
Boko Haram, whose name means “Western education is forbidden,” kidnapped over 200 Nigerian girls in April, and, according to the group Human Rights Watch, the Islamist terrorist group has killed over 2,000 individuals in nearly 100 attacks so far in 2014.
“Boko Haram is effectively waging war on the people of northeastern Nigeria at a staggering human cost,” Corinne Dufka, the Human Rights Watch's West Africa director, said in a statement. “Atrocities committed as part of a widespread attack on civilians are crimes against humanity, for which those responsible need to be held to account.”
Human Rights Watch said that the killings, kidnappings, and other crimes are “part of widespread attacks on civilians in over 70 towns and villages in northeastern Nigeria, in the federal capital, Abuja, and elsewhere.”
In many of the attacks, Boko Haram operatives have fired on civilians in busy marketplaces, churches, and residential neighborhoods, reported Human Rights Watch. In three villages in early June, “Boko Haram fighters impersonated military personnel to round up hundreds of villagers, then opened fire on them,” the monitoring group said, quoting local witnesses. “Two local chiefs from Attagara, one of the villages, told journalists they had buried 110 people killed in the attack.”
Click here to read the entire article.
Photo of people at the scene of a Boko Haram bombing on July 2: AP Images