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Catholic Priest Burnt Alive in Northwest Nigeria attack

Sun 15 Jan 2023 | 11:46 PM
Israa Farhan

Unidentified assailants set fire to the home of a Nigerian Catholic priest in northwest Nigeria, burning one priest to death and shooting and wounding another who tried to escape.

The motives of the armed attackers, known locally as "bandits", were not known. But northern Nigeria, dominated by Muslims, is teeming with jihadists who have been fighting to establish a caliphate for nearly 14 years.

The north of the country has also witnessed kidnappings for ransom and killings by armed gangs recently, amid growing fears that the presidential elections will not be held on February 25 in certain regions.

The bandits were unable to reach the home of Father Isaac Achi in the village of Kafin-Koro, Niger State, in the early hours of Sunday morning, and therefore resorted to setting his house on fire.

 A police spokesman said another priest, Father Collins, was shot while trying to flee the burning house.

The surviving priest was taken to the hospital for treatment.

"This is a sad moment. For a priest to be killed in such a manner means that we are not all safe. These terrorists have lost it and drastic action is needed to end this ongoing carnage," Reuters news agency quoted Niger state Governor Sani Bello as saying.

Hours later, bandits carried out a separate attack in the northern state of Katsina, shooting a priest and detaining five people from a Christian home as they prepared to attend Sunday services at a nearby church.

Last June, gunmen attacked a Catholic church in southwestern Nigeria during Sunday Mass, killing dozens of worshipers.