04 October 2012
Massacre of students in Nigeria religiously-motivated
Partners of Release International have reported that the recent massacres of students in Mubi, Nigeria were religiously motivated.
Forty students have been confirmed dead, including several Muslims and two security guards, but Release’s partner in Nigeria warn that the death toll may rise.
It is reported that men in military uniform went from door-to-door of the college hostel either shooting or cutting the throats of students; and the BBC reports that their bodies were lined up outside the building.
The BBC report also suggested the events may be linked to the student union election which had taken place the day before, as they often involve a great deal of rivalry, and the person who won the election was a Christian. This would, however, be the first time this has escalated to such violence.
The director of Release UK (an Evangelical Alliance member organisation), Colin King, said: “This appalling massacre is consistent with the pattern of attacks against Christians in Nigeria.
“The conflict in Nigeria has overlapping political, tribal and religious dimensions. But overarching the recent troubles is the agenda of Islamist militants to establish their version of Sharia law across the north of the country.
“For several years now, Release has been monitoring attacks which have had the intended effect of driving Christians, and ethnic groups considered to be Christian, from the north. The government must step up security to protect its Christian minority in vulnerable areas.”
Mubi is now under curfew and the college is closed
As yet, no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but it is thought to have been Boko Haram, Islamist militants who have a stronghold in nearby city Maiduguri.
The group is reported to have killed more than 1,400 people in northern and central Nigeria since 2010; there stated agenda is to impose Sharia law in Nigeria, although there has been speculation that they want to form a breakaway state in the north.
The massacre comes after police arrested 156 suspected members of Boko Haram in Mubi last week, and killed a senior leader.