Last Friday night (25 November), seventy Christian homes in Thlulaimakalama, a village in north-eastern Nigeria close to Chibok, were looted and set ablaze in a Boko Haram terror attack. The fires also gutted nearby shops and left other buildings in ruins. Although six Christians were injured, most were able to escape into the bush. Four Muslim homes were also torched.
Thlulaimakalama is a predominantly Christian village in Borno state, located some ten miles from the town of Chibok where 276 mostly Christian schoolgirls were abducted by Boko Haram militant Islamists in April 2014. A church leader from Chibok informed Barnabas Fund, “Because all the churches in the village were razed by the same jihadists in a 2014 attack, Christian houses, shops and food stores were the focal point for attack this time.” The six injured are currently receiving hospital treatment.
According to the latest Global Terrorism Index (GTI), released on 17 November, Boko Haram “weakened” in Nigeria in 2015 because of military opposition. Nevertheless they still killed 4,095 people in Nigeria in terrorist attacks that year, even though this was a 33% reduction on the figure for 2014. Boko Haram increased their activity in neighbouring Cameroon, Chad and Niger, with 1,382 people killed in the three countries during 2015 (an increase of 163% from 2014 when 526 were killed). In August 2016 Boko Haram announced their intention of killing only Christians from then on.
Ethnic Fulani Muslims – a group which, according to the GTI, killed 50% fewer people in Nigeria in 2015 – also remain an ongoing threat to Nigerian Christians.