Boko Haram jihadists attacked a predominantly Christian village in northeastern Nigeria on Christmas Eve, killing at least 11 people, setting fire to a church and abducting a priest, according to local sources.
The jihadists attacked the village of Pemi in motorcycles and trucks, began shooting indiscriminately and setting fire to buildings, said Abuakou Kambou, head of a paramilitary organization operating in the area.
“Terrorists killed seven people, set fire to ten houses and looted warehouses with food to be distributed for Christmas,” he said.
“Four more bodies were found by volunteers in bushy areas” around the village, added the community spokesman, Ayuba Alamson. “The death toll now stands at 11,” he added.
The toll could rise, as many residents ran to hide in vegetated areas during the attack and the fate of some of them are still unaccounted for.
According to Abuakou Kambou, the perpetrators came out of the Sambisa forest, a jihadist stronghold. They stole drugs from a local health center before setting it on fire, as they set fire to a church, and abducted a priest.
In many parts of Nigeria, communities have been forced to form paramilitary groups to defend themselves. These groups often act on the side of the army.
Gunmen also attacked another Christian community in Garkida in neighboring Adamawa on Thursday, looting food and medicine warehouses and setting fire to homes without any casualties, according to local sources cited by ANA-MPA