One month after the declaration of emergency rule to fight insurgency in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states, violence has erupted again, as gunmen suspected to be members of Islamist terrorist sect attacked four communities of Hwa’a, Kunde, Gathahure and Gjigga of Gwoza Hills settlements, torching four churches with Improvised Explosives Devices,IEDS, and petro-bombs Thursday afternoon.
According to Tada Garuta, a resident of Kunde, the gunmen climbed the hills on foot with explosives and petro-bombs, and chanted God is great, in Arabic, before setting four local churches ablaze. Thereafter, they ransacked and emptied their bans of grains along with some livestocks. Gathahure and Hwa’a communities were also affected.
The attacked communities are located in Gwoza council area of Borno state of Mandara Hills, and 151 kilometres south of Maiduguri, the state capital.
Two churches at Hrazah and Hembe,hilly communities were also torched by the gunmen in April this year with the killing of two residents.
Garuta also told newsmen in Maiduguri, Bama road Motor Park yesterday that after torching another church in Hwa’a community, the gunmen also killed Rev. Jacob Kwiza (rtd) of Church of Christ in Nigeria (COCIN), while picking mangoes at his father’s orchard on the hills settlement of Hwa’a.
He said: “as the gunmen threw some explosives at our church, they forced the retired Reverend to renounce Christianity and be converted to Islam, but Rev. Jacob defied the gunmen’s threats of being killed, as he insisted on being a Christian among his people on the hills of Hwa’a. They slit his throat with sharp objects; and we started to flee for safety, as we don’t know the next targets of these gunmen.”
He said because of fears and terrorizing around Hwa’a’s community, none of the residents came to pick the body of the slain Reverend for burial and prayers.
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