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Boko Haram Kills Scores in Attacks on Churches

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Boko Haram

There seems to be no let-up in the bloodletting in some parts of the country.
Suspected Boko Haram insurgents killed no fewer than 56 people yesterday in attacks on three Borno State villages near Chibok. More than 200 pupils of Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, who were abducted from their dormitory on April 15, are still missing.
In Taraba State, gunmen killed 13 Fulani herdsmen. The state has been a flashpoint of ethnoreligious crises and killings.
The gunmen attacked churches during a service yesterday morning. They shot at worshippers, killing many of them in Kautikiri, Nguragila and Kwada villages.
They attacked Church of Brethren Nigeria (EYN), Deeper Life Bible Church and Church of Christ International (COCIN).
The insurgents also burnt down the churches.
A church was attacked during worship in Kautikiri village, five kilometres from Chibok.
Samuel Chibok, a survivor of the attack on Kautikiri village, about five kms from where the girls were snatched, said that around 20 men in a Toyota pick-up van and motorcycles rolled into town. They sprayed it with bullets, focusing much of their fire power on worshippers in a local church.
“Initially, I thought they were military but when I came out, they were firing at people. I saw people fleeing and they burned our houses,” Chibok said, adding that two of his relatives had died in the attacks.
“Smoke was billowing from our town as I left,” he said.
A local pro-government vigilante, who declined to be named, said residents had recovered 15 bodies from the village.
Another attack on Kwada, 8kms from Chibok, left some people dead, a security source operating in the area said.
Residents and a member of the vigilante group in Chibok said 38 bodies were evacuated at Kwada, nine at Nguragila and another nine at Kautikari town, bringing the dead to 56. “But we are still combing the communities, especially as we learnt some people were shot while fleeing into the bush,” the vigilante members said.
Maina, a resident of Chibok, said the attacks were well coordinated, adding that some of his relations at Kautikari recounted that the insurgents operated from 8am till 11 am.
In a separate assault on Friday evening, insurgents killed seven soldiers in the village of Goniri, Yobe State, a security source and witnesses said.
“The attackers went to churches with bombs and guns,” Timothy James, a Chibok resident, said on the telephone.
Enoch Mark, an outspoken Chibok leader since the abductions, gave a similar account, telling the AFP in Lagos: “Presently, as we are talking now, we are under attack.”
“We cannot tell the number of dead bodies,” he added. “I was told the attackers burnt at least three churches to the ground.”
Mark said that the military did not respond to distress calls after the attack began.
Senator Ali Ndume (Borno South) condemned the attack. He urged the Federal Government to deploy more troops to work with local vigilante to end the incessant killings.
A youth leader, Dr Manaseh Allen, urged the government to act quickly, saying the bloodbath was increasingly alarming. “I want the security agencies to double their efforts. If these people (Boko Haram) can come during the day and succeed the way they have been, what of if they decide to come at night?” he asked.
An explosion on Friday night in a brothel in Bauchi killed 11 people and injured 28, according to the police.
In Friday night’s attack on a military outpost, the suspected Boko Haram fighters arrived in four armoured personnel carriers and 11 Hilux trucks mounted with anti-aircraft guns, said a security source and a witness who gave his name only as Hamisu.
“They were all dressed in full military gear but they did not direct their onslaught on the civilian population,” Hamisu said by telephone.
The militants are extending their reach beyond their remote northeastern heartlands. A bomb in Abuja killed 21 people last Wednesday, the third attack on the capital in three months.
President Goodluck Jonathan said Nigeria had entered one of the darkest phases of its history during a visit to the scene of the Abuja blast on Friday.
Yesterday, the President, in a statement by his spokesman Reuben Abati, condemned the Friday night killings in Bauchi and the mass killings in Southern Kaduna.
Abati said: “The President commiserated with all the families who lost loved ones in the heinous attacks and extended his sympathies to all those who suffered injuries or lost their properties during the wanton assaults on Bauchi and Kaduna States.
“He reassured the people of the two states that the Federal Government will continue to take all necessary action to apprehend the perpetrators of the dastardly attacks and restore the fullest possible security to all parts of the country.
“The President directed all relevant federal government agencies to continue to speedily make emergency medical and relief assistance available to all those who were either injured or displaced by recent bombings and attacks.
“Jonathan also urged all Nigerians to give maximum support and cooperation to the Armed Forces and security agencies.
“The security agencies, he said, have continued to work incessantly to end the menace of insecurity in the country within the shortest possible time.”
The police in Jalingo, the Taraba State capital, said unknown gunmen on Saturday trailed and killed 13 Fulani herdsmen who were returning from village markets in Garba-Chede and Maihula.
Police Spokesman Joseph Kwaji said yesterday that the herdsmen were waylaid and killed by unidentified youths along a bush path on the outskirts of Maihula in Bali Local Government Area of the state.
According to him, no arrest had been made but the police had beefed up security in the area to track down the perpetrators.
He added that it was not clear why the incident took place but further investigation would reveal the reasons for the attack and the people behind it.
Bali Local Government Area Chairman Andrew Yerima said the herdsmen were trailed by the armed men from Garba-Chede market where they were believed to have gone to sell their cows.
Yerima called for calm and advised residents of the area not to take the law into their hands.
He assured them that the culprits would be brought to book.
Source: The Nation

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