At least 30 people were killed after suspected Boko Haram extremists attacked churches today near Chibok in Nigeria’s northeast Borno state where more than 200 schoolgirls were abducted, a vigilante group leader said.
The Islamist militants attacked several churches in the northeastern villages of Kwada and Kautikari in the Chibok district, Abba Aji Khalil, chairman of a vigilante group in Borno state, said in a phone interview today.
“At least 30 persons were killed when suspected Boko Haram members attacked churches in Chibok today,” Khalil said.
Nigerian security forces are struggling to contain a campaign of violence by Boko Haram, which is fighting to impose Islamic law on Africa’s most populous nation. At least 21 people died in a June 25 blast at a busy shopping mall in Abuja, the capital. An explosion at a bus park in the city killed at least 75 people on April 14, the same day the schoolgirls were kidnapped in Borno state.
Nigeria, a country of about 170 million people with Africa’s biggest economy, is divided between a mainly Muslim north and predominately Christian south. President Goodluck Jonathan has said Boko Haram is part of al-Qaeda and poses a threat to countries throughout the region. His government has been criticized for its failure to rescue the kidnapped girls.