The Islamic State has released a disturbing video showing them behead 10 Christians that the group claims to have captured in Nigeria. An 11th captive, shown in the video in the middle of the group, was shot in the head.
ISIS didn’t release any details, but claimed that the men were all captured in the northeast state of Borno in Nigeria. They said these killings were to “avenge” the death of their leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and his spokesman Abul Hassan al-Muhajir during a U.S. Delta Force raid in Syria in October.
The video showed the terror group in beige uniforms and black masks lining up behind blindfolded captives, then beheading 10 of them and shooting the 11th victim.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari condemned the murders and pleaded with Nigerians not to let themselves become divided along religious lines.
“We should, under no circumstance, let the terrorists divide us by turning Christians against Muslims because these barbaric killers don’t represent Islam and millions of other law-abiding Muslims around the world,” he said in a statement.
A different video from ISIS said that the captives had been taken from Maiduguri and Damaturu in Borno, where the terrorists have been fighting to install an Islamist state. In that video, the captives pleaded for the President, Muhammadu Buhari and the Christian Association of Nigeria to come to their rescue.
The Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), broke away from Boko Haram and declared their loyalty to ISIS in 2016. They have used hostage-taking as a bargaining chip. This video, released over Christmas, may have been intended to turn Christians and Muslims in Nigeria against one another.
In the video, a masked man said, “this is a message to Christians all over the world.”
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres released a statement, through his spokesman Stephane Dujarric, expressing his concern and condolences: “The Secretary-General is deeply concerned about reports that civilians have been executed, and others abducted, by an armed group in northern Borno State, northeastern Nigeria. He expressed his deepest condolences to the families of the victims and reiterates the solidarity of the United Nations with the people and Government of Nigeria,” the statement read.
Recently, attacks on the Christian population of Nigeria have been increasing by both Boko Haram, which means “Western education is forbidden,” and ISWAP.
On Christmas Eve, dozens of Boko Haram terrorists, riding trucks and motorcycles killed seven people in a raid on a Christian village near the town of Chibok in Borno.
Chibok was also the location of the mass kidnapping of 276 schoolgirls in 2014 by Boko Haram which sparked global outrage and put a target on the terrorist group.
Shortly after the kidnapping, 57 of the girls were able to escape. Later, 107 of the girls were either rescued or released after negotiations. The remaining 112 are still in captivity.
The fighting in Nigeria has killed more than 36,000 people and has displaced nearly two million from their homes in the northeast, according to the U.N.
The violence has spread to neighboring Niger, Chad and Cameroon. This has resulted in the nations forming a regional military coalition to fight the jihadist groups. The Islamic State is waging a similar war in the Sahel where the French have joined arms with the Sahel nations in battling the threat there.
Below is a redacted video of the incident, with Arabic subtitles, which was taken off of Twitter, shortly after the attack.
GRAPHIC CLIP: 11 Nigerian male Christians including soldiers, Aid workers & civilians abducted by Islamic State Wilayat Gharb Ifriqiyah #ISWAP were on Christmas day Beheaded excluding one who was shot execution style.
— Edward (@DonKlericuzio) December 26, 2019