2014-12-02 13:42:00

Suspected militants kill seven in northeast Nigeria

(Vatican Radio) At least seven people were killed Monday when suspected Islamic extremists struck in two state capitals in northeastern Nigeria. Police say some 30 extremists were also killed in clashes with security forces.

The attacks were the latest in a week of violence linked to Islamic militants that has killed more than 170 people in northern Nigeria.

Meanwhile, some 1.6 million Nigerians have abandoned their homes due to the rise of the Boko Haram Islamic militant group, which has overtaken towns and villages throughout the country.

Head of the Nigerian Bishops’ conference, Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama of Jos, spoke about this crisis with Vatican Radio on Tuesday from Yola, one of the regions most affected by the conflict.

Listen to Vatican Radio’s full interview with Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama:

Travelling to various regions to pray and show solidarity with the suffering, he is encouraging people  “to open their houses and welcome [the displaced], even though it is not very easy, because it means more mouths to feed and limited accommodation.”

Boko Haram has taken over entire villages, the archbishop said, forcing scores of Nigerians to flee their homes.

“They have lost their homes, lost their villages and towns,” he said. “There are displaced people everywhere,”

After being uprooted, “now they are on the move endlessly, because they don’t know what the future holds for them.”

Archbishop Kaigama expressed his hope that the conflict is “a bad dream that will soon end.”

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