At least 100 dead in Boko Haram attack on Christian area in northern Nigeria
Extremist Muslim organisation Boko Haram ravaged the predominantly Christian town of Gwoza, Borno State last week.
Over 100 people were killed in the attack, and many citizens were forced to flee their homes and run into the hills to save their lives, BosNewsLife reports.
Survivors reported that the attackers rode into Gwoza around 4 a.m. on August 6, wearing military uniforms. The Boko Haram members arrived on motorcycles, in trucks, and in up to 50 Toyota Hilux vans, and attacked the village with fuel-bombs and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).
The population of over 276,000 had their homes ransacked for food and other supplies before being burned. Some escaped civilians fled to Cameroon or nearby Adamawa State.
One survivor, Pirda Tada, described the chaotic scene.
"I thank God for sparing my life, but three of my neighbors and members of our church were killed during the attack," the former Saha village, Gwoza resident told the Christian News Network.
"These Christians in our village had their throats slit with knives while their hands were tied behind their backs. Some houses were bombed as the Boko Haram gunmen were chanting, 'God is great!' in Arabic."
Tada reported that six Christians were killed in Saha, and the Church of Christ in Nations building in Pegi Barawa village was destroyed.
Boko Haram also targeted the predominantly Christian town of Limankara, Borno State this week, killing Church of Christ in Nations pastor Musa Gaiyo and three of his children.
Human rights organisation Christian Solidarity Worldwide condemned the bloodshed.
"It is deplorable that the residents of Gwoza have been terrorised for so many months, and are now internally displaced, having lost their homes and livelihoods," Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas said in a statement.
"The pain of watching from the hills as terrorists dismantle their lives and leave the bodies of loved ones exposed to the elements is unimaginable. While we applaud the reported advances by special forces, we urge state and federal authorities to send assistance to the people of Gwoza before they succumb to current privations."
Boko Haram became internationally known after kidnapping over 270 children from an all-girls school in Chibok, Nigeria on April 14. A second mass kidnapping occurred on May 4 in Warabe. Over 200 girls remain missing.