Suspected Boko Haram terrorists killed a woman and her bridal party in northeast Nigeria five days before her planned New Year’s Eve wedding, and eight other Christians were killed in separate attacks, sources said.
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Martha Bulus and her two bridesmaids were stopped on Dec. 26 as they made their way from Gwoza, Borno state to Martha Bulus’ hometown in Adamawa state for her wedding, were ordered from their vehicle, identified as Christians and then beheaded, church leaders said. Eight other Christians were killed in the same area on the same day, one church leader said.
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Bulus and her two Christian friends were traveling on the Maiduguri-Yola highway when they were stopped near Gwoza and killed. Bulus was a member of St. Augustine Catholic Church in Maiduguri, according to the Rev. Francis Arinse, director of communications for the Catholic Diocese of Maiduguri.Maiduguri.
“They were beheaded by Boko Haram insurgents at Gwoza on their way to her hometown,” Arinse told Morning Star News in a text message.
The Rev. Naga Williams Mohammed, chairman of the Borno State Chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), confirmed the killings in a text message to Morning Star News, adding that assailants also killed eight other Christians and kidnapped two Christian women at the same spot on the same day, but at different times.
“Martha and her two friends were indeed killed by Boko Haram at Gwoza as they were traveling back to her hometown, but they were not the only Christian victims that were killed on that day along the Maiduguri-Yola Highway,” Mohammed said. “Eight other Christians were also killed on that spot at Gwoza, while two other Christian sisters were kidnapped and taken away by the Boko Haram group.”
Originating in Maiduguri, Boko Haram has sought to impose sharia (Islamic law) throughout Nigeria. The group aligned with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in 2015 and reportedly controlled 20,000 square miles in Borno state. It renamed itself the Islamic State’s West Africa Province (ISWAP), but a group of that name broke off from Boko Haram in 2016.
The Nigerian military declared in September 2015 that it had destroyed all Boko Haram camps, but attacks have continued. Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states in northeast Nigeria have been a hotbed for Boko Haram terrorists.
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