(Vatican Radio) Two attacks by suspected members of a Nigerian Islamic sect have killed
at least 20 members of a vigilante group out to fight the sect.
linked to the Islamic “Boko Haram” sect crept up on six members of the group known
as the Civilian Joint Task Force who were sleeping in a north-eastern village. The
suspected insurgents then shot them Monday night.
The attack came less than
two days after suspected Boko Haram members killed 14 young vigilantes in neighbouring
town of Bama.
The vigilante force has arisen in northeast Nigeria as a backlash
against Boko Haram, and the group claims credit for thousands of arrests in Maiduguri,
where Boko Haram started.
Long-time Africa correspondent for the Italian daily
Corriere della Sera, Massimo Alberizzi, said the real problem is not so much
the large scale attacks, but the day to day violence that affects so much of the region:
“Every day, every day there are killings there. The terrorists stop the cars on the
corner, and they kill the people inside the car, without any apparent reason. And
this is the real problem – every day there is violence.”
Since 2010, more than
1,700 people have been killed in attacks by the group known as Boko Haram, whose name,
roughly translated, means “Western education is a sin”. The group wants to impose
Islamic Sharia law throughout Nigeria.