Pastor and hearing-impaired child killed by Boko Haram in Cameroon church

A man holds a sign that reads 'Stop Boko Haram' at a rally to support Chadian troops heading to Cameroon to fight Boko Haram, in Ndjamena on January 17, 2015.
A man holds a sign that reads "Stop Boko Haram" at a rally to support Chadian troops heading to Cameroon to fight Boko Haram, in Ndjamena on January 17, 2015. | (Photo: Reuters/Emmanuel Braun)

A retired pastor and a Christian boy were reportedly killed by the Islamic militant group Boko Haram in the Central African nation of Cameroon earlier this month. 

As reported by Barnabus Aid, retired pioneering pastor David Mokoni and a hearing-impaired child were killed on Nov. 6 when Boko Haram militants carried out a nighttime attack on a church in the town of Moskota in Cameroon’s northern Mayo-Tsanaga district.

Two other pastors present at the church when the attack occurred managed to escape while another is being treated for a gunshot wound in the leg, according to the international Christian aid agency.

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In addition, the militants were said to have taken food, clothing and even the pastor’s robes from the church. 

A local source told Barnabus Aid that the Nov. 6 attack in Moskata was the second attack on the town in a week’s span and that a series of attacks carried out in Cameroon’s far north region since October has left at least eight people dead.

On Oct. 31, six people were said to have been hacked to death by militants in the village of Kotserehe, according to Barnabus Aid.

The attack was also reported by the French-language outlet Actu Cameroun. But that report published on Nov. 5 only tallied four people who were killed by Boko Haram in Kotserehe: Sati Vaza, Ganava Zinahad, Isnia Tangola and Vara Tiri. The Actu Cameroun report also tallied three who were seriously injured and in critical condition. 

“They were armed with machetes, axes, knives, and clubs, and cut out anyone they met on their way,” Masai Abraham, a member of Kotsereh's vigilance committee, told news outlet in French, according to a Google translation. “Four people in total were killed. They were literally chopped up by their executioners.”

Resident Maogai Rebecca, who is nine months pregnant, said that her 15-year-old nephew was killed. She recalled the horrifying experience when five militants broke into her home at night when speaking with Actu Cameroun.

After the militants entered, she said, one knocked her out with a club blow to her head. She said that she was interrogated as militants demanded money. After she was able to escape, she said militants “drove the blade of the ax” through her nephew’s skull “to the point where it was necessary to use a hammer to extract it from his skull.”

Also on Oct. 31, militants struck in Moskata. They reportedly killed one man, stole up to 140 oxen and cattle and looted shops in the town. 

The day before on Oct. 30, militants were said to have looted six Christian villages in the Mayo Sava district. 

According to a local resident who spoke with Barnabus Aid, attackers stole food, clothing, livestock and even stripped the sheets off beds as the villagers fled for their lives. 

“The village hasn’t got a single sheep or goat left,” the resident said. 

Boko Haram is an Islamic insurgency based in Northeast Nigeria. It has become one of the deadliest terror groups in the world as it also carries out attacks across the Lake Chad Basin in countries like Cameroon, Chad and Niger. 

According to the United Nations, the terror group has displaced over 2.4 million people in the Lake Chad Basin. As of Sept. 30, the group is responsible for the internal displacement of over 513,000 in Cameroon, Chad and Niger.

The U.N. reports that Boko Haram has carried out a number of attacks in Cameroon’s Far North region in districts such as Logone and Chari, Mayo Sava and Mayo Tsanaga. 

In April, at least seven people were killed with five others who were seriously injured in a nighttime attack by Boko Haram in a locality of Mayo Sava. Militants also stole sheep and burned buildings.

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