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Boko Haram attacks Christian village on Christmas Eve

At least seven people have died, and seven others are missing after Boko Haram militants raided a mostly Christian village in Northern Nigeria on Christmas Eve.

The attackers burnt a church, abducted a priest and sacked medical and food supplies in the village of Pyemi, near Chibok, where 200 schoolgirls were kidnapped in 2014.

The group had previously released a threat saying Christians would be attacked and killed during the Christmas season following another attack that killed 27 people in a small town in Southern Nigeria.

Rev. Daniel Mbaya, General Secretary for the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria (EYN), said: “We had the information three days before the attack, and Security agencies were informed. They [Boko Haram] had sent word that they were coming to do “Christmas” in town and specifically mentioned Garkida. Most people fled into the bush.”

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said in a statement he was committed to “remain unyielding in confronting the Boko Haram insurgency as well as other forms of criminality”.

Nathan Johnson, International Christian Concern´s Regional Manager for Africa, said, “Boko Haram promised that they would attack Christians and fulfilled this promise. Many say that Boko Haram does not hate Christianity, however, this attack shows their true intention towards Christians in Nigeria.”

Last year, the radicalised group released a video showing the killing of 11 Christians in Nigeria´s Borno State on Christmas day.

“This is the second year in a row where Christians have been slaughtered by the group on Christmas Eve. It is time for the Nigerian government to end these atrocities,” Mr Johnson said.

According to the UN, Boko Haram has killed at least 36,000 and uprooted two million people from their homes.

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