KANO (AFP) – Gunmen have shot dead five Christian residents of a town in a restive northeastern Nigerian region previously hit by deadly Islamist attacks, the police said Sunday.
The gunmen stormed the home of five Christian ethnic Igbos from eastern Nigeria in Gaidam town late Saturday and shot them dead before fleeing, state police commissioner Patrick Egbuniwe said.
“The gunmen broke into the home of the Igbo iron welders after they had closed from work and shot them dead. The attackers escaped and no one has been arrested for the attack,” he told AFP.
Gaidam, which lies 135 kilometres (84 miles) from the Yobe state capital Damaturu and near the border with Niger, is the hometown of state governor Ibrahim Gaidam.
It is not clear if the assailants killed them because they were Christians.
Egbuniwe did not say whether Boko Haram was behind the killing.
In November last year, the Islamist militant group launched coordinated bombings and shooting attacks on the town.
Armed with Kalashnikov rifles, the Islamists hurled explosives at Gaidam police station, freed suspects, stole arms, rampaged through the town, burning six churches, a high court, a shopping complex and robbing a bank.
On Friday, gunmen killed three policemen and set ablaze three churches and a school in the town of Bonny Yadi in the volatile state, a military spokesman said.
Nigeria’s northeast has been hard hit by deadly attacks blamed on Boko Haram.
Attacks by the group and the security forces’ response to the insurgency are believed to have claimed more than 2,800 lives since 2009.