Boko Haram Launches Lethal Attack on Christian Town in Northeast Nigeria

Image taken from a video by Nigeria's Boko Haram terrorist network, Oct. 31, 2014. AP
AP/Screenshot

Boko Haram terrorists attacked a Christian-majority town in northeast Nigeria Monday night, leaving an unknown number of casualties and sending residents fleeing for the surrounding mountains.

Muslim extremists of the Boko Haram terror group stormed Michika, in Adamawa state, killing “many people” as they looted houses, fired shots, bombed a bank, and set buildings on fire, according to reports by area residents to local media.

One attack eyewitness said he personally knew four people who were killed.

“I can confirm to you that many people were killed last night and many were injured as well,” said a man named Bala. “I may not know all of those who lost their lives but I am sure of four persons whom I know personally, that were killed in the attack.”

“My aunt’s husband and their daughter were killed. I also know of a retired soldier and local businessman that were killed in front of their houses,” he said.

This was the second attack on the town in as many months; Boko Haram militants attacked Michika and four other towns in February, reportedly killing women, children, and elderly people.

During the attacks on the towns of Michika, Madagali, Shuwa, Gulak, and Bazza, the terrorists reportedly shouted the jihadist slogan “Allahu Akbar (God is greater).”

Adamawa State Police spokesman Othman Abubakar said he could not confirm the casualties from Monday’s assault but said that security agents had restored order in the village, which Boko Haram had seized in September 2014 and held until Nigerian troops recaptured it four months later.

Mathew Favandzaer, chairman of the Local Government Council, confirmed the attack, adding that the numbers of casualties and displaced persons were as yet unknown.

Monday’s attack on Michika came ahead of the supplementary governorship election on March 23, one of 14 local governments to do so. Last Thursday, Boko Haram militants torched a Christian church building in neighboring Borno state, killing one person and abducting two women.

The jihadists also launched attacks in southern Borno state on February 2, February 7, and February 21, during which they assaulted members of Church of the Brethren and burned 26 houses. During one of the attacks, militants abducted a seven-year-old boy who has not been heard from since.

Christians make up a slight majority (51.3 percent) of Nigeria’s population and are concentrated primarily in the south, while Muslims make up 45 percent of the population and reside principally in the north and middle belt.

Attacks by Boko Haram are not the only source of violent persecution for Nigeria’s Christians, as Muslim Fulani militants in the middle belt have massacred well over a hundred Christians in the last several weeks. Despite the elevated numbers of casualties and brutality of the religiously motivated assaults, mainstream media have been strangely silent about them.

In its 2019 World Watch List of countries where it is hardest to be a Christian, Open Doors, a watchdog group for Christian persecution, ranked Nigeria number 12.

Increased attacks on Christian communities by Hausa-Fulani Islamic militant herdsmen “claimed the lives of hundreds of believers during the reporting period, and scores of villages and churches were burned to the ground,” Open Doors said.

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