BOKO Haram jihadists killed at least 11 people, burnt a church and seized a priest during a shocking Christmas Eve attack in Nigeria.
Fanatics in trucks and motorcycles stormed a predominantly Christian village in Borno state shooting “indiscriminately” and setting buildings on fire, a local militia leader said.
Nigerian security forces are on alert after the attack[/caption]
Boko Haram is led by Abubakar Shekau[/caption]
The attack comes after ISIS-linked jihadis claimed responsibility for kidnapping more than 300 boys from a school, one of whom made a heart wrenching appeal for his captors’ demands to be met.
Security agencies had in recent days warned of an increased risk of attack during the holiday season.
In many parts of Nigeria, communities have resorted to armed vigilantes or militias, who work alongside the army, for self-defence.
“The terrorists killed seven people, burnt 10 homes and looted food supplies that were meant to be distributed to residents to celebrate Christmas,” said militia leader Abwaku Kabu.
Local community leader Ayuba Alamson added: “Four more dead bodies have been found in the nearby bushes by search and rescue volunteers.
“This has moved the death toll to 11.”
But the number of dead could rise as villagers fled to the bush and some people are still unaccounted for.
The attackers who drove from the group’s nearby Sambisa forest enclave also looted medical supplies from a hospital before setting it ablaze.
The village is located only 12 miles from Chibok, where Boko Haram kidnapped more than 200 schoolgirls six years ago.
The girls were forced to convert to Islam and to marry Boko Haram jihadis with a reputed “bride price” of £4.
After the latest attack Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari said his administration would be “unyielding in confronting the Boko Haram insurgency as well as other forms of criminality”.
Boko Haram sprung up in Nigeria’s northeast about a decade ago and 36,000 people have been killed and around two million forced from their homes as a result.
Violence has spread to neighbouring Niger, Chad and Cameroon, prompting regional countries to form a military coalition to fight the jihadist groups.
Last month it was linked to a sickening attack in which 43 farmers and fisherman were savagely butchered and some beheaded.
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Boko Haram also sparked global outrage when Sky News obtained footage which showed a scared teen girl who revealed she was paid 40 pence by Boko Haram to carry out a suicide bomb attack.
The astonishing video shows the 14-year-old being interviewed by Nigerian cops who stopped her before she could detonate her explosives.
Human rights groups have claimed the group has started using babies as suicide bombers.