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Nigeria: Christians killed by extremist groups

Early morning attacks in Tafawa Balewa, Bauchi state in Nigeria on Sunday (Jan. 22) left at least seven Christians dead and a church building destroyed.


by Obed Minchakpu

Boko-HaramThe attack on the Evangelical Church Winning All Church 2, residents of Tafawa Balewa said, was carried out by area Islamic extremists alongside members of the Boko Haram sect, with the church building and surrounding houses bombed.

Yunnana Yusufu, a pastor with the Church of Christ in Nigeria in Tafawa Balewa, told Compass that the assailants arrived in the early morning hours and began shooting at Christians in the town, about 100 kilometers (62 miles) south of Bauchi City.

“I saw seven dead bodies of some of the Christians killed,” Yusufu told Compass by phone. “The situation is terrible, and I am about to go out to other parts of the town, to see the extent of the damage caused by the attackers.” Yusufu said that many other Christians were injured.

“Some of them have been taken to the General Hospital here, while others are being treated at home by medical personnel who are Christians,” he said. All churches have cancelled services.

“The situation we are in calls for attention to the injured and taking appropriate steps to calm frayed nerves over the attack,” he said.

Bauchi Police Commissioner Ikechukwu Aduba reportedly confirmed the attack on Tafawa Balewa, saying two soldiers and a policeman, as well as eight civilians were later killed in a gunfight. He added that six suspects had been arrested.

Police also reported that bombs were thrown at a Catholic church building and an evangelical church building in Bauchi City, causing little damage and no deaths or injuries.

Bukata Zhadi, secretary of the Christian Elders Council in Tafawa Balewa, said attacks on Christian communities in the area have been incessant, with Sunday’s attack bringing to 10 the number of Christians killed in the past two weeks in Tafawa Balewa.

A fortnight ago, gunmen believed to be Muslim Fulani herdsmen attacked three Christian farmers on their farms in Pyakman village, near Tafawa Balewa, killing the three of them. Corpses recovered from the farms had bullet wounds and machete cuts, Zhadi said.

Boko Haram, the name given to the Islamic extremist group officially called Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati Wal-Jihad – “The People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet’s Teachings and Jihad” – seeks to impose a strict version of sharia (Islamic law) on Nigeria. The name Boko Haram translates loosely as “Western education is forbidden.”

Obed Minchakpu, 23/01/2012

Editor 25/01/2012 11:40
On Boko Haram and the gang of ‘One-Nigeria-at-any-cost.

SINCE the enthronement in 1999 of General Olusegun Obasanjo as the President of Nigeria, there has been a steady drumbeat of violence against Christians by Hausa-Fulani Moslems in Northern Nigeria.

Shortly after he became military President of Nigeria, General Ibrahim Babangida who had sworn to protect and defend the country’s secular order provocatively but secretly made Nigeria a member of Organization of Islamic Countries. Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe who challenged the imposture lost his job as Chief of General Staff and nearly his life.

Read on...
Editor 29/02/2012 17:43
A suicide bomber forced his way into the grounds of a major Nigerian church, killing three people plus himself during a service last Sunday morning.

He drove a Volkswagen Audi car packed with explosives into the compound of the Church of Christ (COCIN) headquarters in Jos at 7.20am on Sunday 26 February. The vehicle sped past a security checkpoint and exploded three metres from the church building.

People survey the damage
at the church compound
Image source: Stefanos foundation
Two women and an 18-month-old child were killed, and around 50 people were injured in the blast. One of the women had recently fled the anti-Christian violence in Yobe state.

The church and surrounding buildings were damaged, and the windows of around 30 cars parked in the compound were shattered.

Read full report from Barnabas Fund

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