Boko Haram kills at least seven in Nigeria’s Christmas Eve attack, a local official said

“Boko Haram attacked the village of Pemi, killed seven people and kidnapped seven others, including a pastor,” Kachallah Usman, Chibok’s local government area secretary, told CNN on Friday.

“They also burned a church, a dispensary and several houses,” he added.

Pemi is located approximately 20 kilometers from Chibok, where Boko Haram kidnapped more than 200 students six years ago.

A man who was supposedly Abubakar Shekau, leader of one of Boko Haram’s factions, also said the group was responsible for the kidnapping of more than 300 students in the northwest of the country earlier this month, although Governor Aminu Bello Masari refuted that claim. , saying that “local thugs” were responsible.

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Audu Chiwar, a former secretary of the Chibok community in Abuja, told CNN that he received a call on Thursday from a local resident reporting that gunmen opened fire in the village. The witness told Chiwar that several houses in the area were set on fire, as well as the Brothers’ Evangelical Church in the village of Pemi.

Several witnesses told CNN that they also heard gunfire and saw people being shot.

An international organization of Christian youth was holding a parade in the village of Pemi to celebrate Christmas when the attack occurred, according to witness Bomo Ishaku.

Nkeki Mutah, president of the Chibok community in Abuja, told CNN that he believes the village of Pemi was specifically targeted because it is a majority Christian community.

“Since 2018, nearly every two weeks, Boko Haram has been attacking Chibok, killing and kidnapping people,” said Mutah.

“They want to eliminate Chibok from the Earth’s surface.”