Islamic Gunmen Opened Fire at Church Vigil in Nigeria

An armed gang opened fire at a church in Kaduna state Thursday night, killing two people and wounding 11 with some in critical condition.

Nigerian officials reported that the attack occurred overnight while church members were performing a nightly vigil. The BBC reported that the assault is likely to be connected to a revenge initiative by Muslim Hasus and Fulanis groups.

Kaduna state is divided among religious and political lines, with Christians occupying a large part of the southern section, while Muslims are concentrated in the north. It is largely representative of the way Nigeria is divided as a whole, a situation that has led to numerous of violent clashes between hostile groups.

More than 1,000 people have died in the neighboring Plateau state over such clashes.

In April, Kaduna’s first ever-Christian governor was elected, which sparked outrage and violence as Muslim groups were evicted from their homes, and around 3,000 people’s homes were burned down.

A BBC correspondent conveyed that the revenge attacks are most likely connected to the same events concerning Muslim groups who have been displaced from the territory.

Boko Harm, a well-known Islamic militant group based in the Borno state, had previously declared their plans to take revenge.

Earlier on Thursday, families who had lost loved ones in the April bomb attacks in Suleja, were presented insurance cheques by the Independent National Electoral Commission.

The attacks were also blamed on the Boko Harm group, and they took the lives of several people at the INEC office.

News reports shared that the relatives of the victims “burst into tears” as they received their compensation packages, which were far from enough to make up for their loss and the continued violence Nigeria is experiencing.

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