Boko Haram members
Barely 48 hours after suspected Boko Haram members murdered the Emir of Gwoza, Idris Titman, they struck again on Sunday, June 1, attacking a church in Attagara, Gwoza Local Government Area of Borno State and killing nine worshippers.
The insurgents who were said to have rode on motorcycles and a truck, stormed the EYN Church (Church of Brethren, Nigeria) at about 9.30am and opened fire on the members, killing 9 people and leaving many with injuries.
Matthew Adamu, a resident of the village who fled to Maiduguri, said, “Our church has some men who provide security, especially when service is going on. As we were holding our service on Sunday, we started hearing gunshots and everybody fled. Some jumped through the windows and ran into the bushes. Some who live close to the church managed to run to their homes.”
According to an unnamed police source, who confirmed the killings to journalists, the villagers and their neighbours from Agapalwa then mobilised and went after the insurgents, killing about 37 of them in a reprisal attack while they arrested three of them.
Also confirming the incident, the Chairman of the Christians Association of Nigeria in the state, Rev. Titus Pona said, he was told by his members that 37 of the insurgents were killed in the reprisal attack.
It was gathered that the Sunday attack, was a revenge attack by the Boko Haram gunmen who were angered by the arrest of some of their members the previous day in Gwoza town.
Attempts to get official confirmation from police and military authorities proved abortive as the mobile telephone lines of their spokesmen were unavailable.
However, a security source at the Department of the State Security, SSS, confirmed the incident off the record to journalist.
“Gwoza is boiling presently because the incident is taking a dimension that may spark religious strife amongst the Muslim-Christian community in the Gwoza neighborhood”, said the security source.
Despite troops of military men and emergency rule in the state, Boko Haram have continued to attack various Borno communities, from kidnapping over 200 Government school girls in Chibok on April 14, to killing over 300 people in an attack on May 7 and displacing countless others from their home in different attacks.
Infuriated by the incessant attacks on their community, some women in Attagara and Kawuri villages in Gwoza and Bama Local Government areas of Borno State, on May 26, Monday were said to have repelled attacks on their community the dreaded insurgents who had stormed the village on motorcycles.
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