“Boko Haram attacked the village of Bemi, killing seven people and abducting seven others, including a pastor,” Kachalla Usman, secretary of the Sibok local council area, told CNN on Friday.
“They burned a church, a pharmacy and several houses,” he said.
Bemi is located about 20 kilometers from Sibok, where Boko Haram abducted more than 200 schoolgirls six years ago.
A man claiming to be Abu Bakr Shekhaw, the leader of a faction of Boko Haram, blamed the group for abducting more than 300 schoolchildren in the northwest of the country earlier this month, although Governor Aminu Bello Mazari denied the allegations, saying “local bandits” were responsible.
Adu Sivar, a former secretary of the Sibok community in Abuja, told CNN that he received a call from a local resident on Thursday. According to the Witness, many houses in the area were burned down, as was the Evangelical Church of the Brethren in the village of Bemi.
Several witnesses told CNN they heard gunshots and saw people being shot.
Witness Pomo Ishaq, an eyewitness, said an international Christian youth organization was marching in the village of Bemi to celebrate Christmas when the attack took place.
Nkeki Mutah, leader of the Sibok community in Abuja, told CNN that he believed Bemi village was particularly targeted because it was a Christian majority community.
“Since 2018, more than every two weeks, Boko Haram has been attacking Sibok, killing and abducting people,” Mutta said.
“They want to clear Siboka from the surface of the earth.”