- The Washington Times
Friday, December 27, 2019

Militants aligned with the Islamic State claim to have recently beheaded several Christian men in Nigeria in response to the death of the group’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Amaq, the propaganda arm of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, circulated a video on social media late Thursday, a day after Christmas. That video claims to show the execution of 11 Christian men in northeast Nigeria, several international news agencies reported Friday.

The video shows the men being “shot and stabbed” by masked jihadists identified as members of the Islamic State West African Province, an ISIS affiliate known as ISWAP, Agency France-Presse reported.

One of the victims is fatally shot in the video while 10 others are beheaded, Reuters and BBC each reported.

“This is a message to Christians all over the world,” a masked man said in the video, according to AFP.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari condemned the killings, saying in a statement: “We should, under no circumstance, let the terrorists divide us by turning Christians against Muslims because these barbaric killers don’t represent Islam and millions of other law-abiding Muslims around the world.”

The masked man who appears in video said that the killings were specifically reprisal for the death of al-Baghdadi and an ISIS spokesman, AFP and BBC each reported.

Al-Baghdadi died in October after detonating a suicide vest while being pursued by U.S. forces, and Abu Hassan al-Muhajir, an ISIS spokesman, is believed to have been killed shortly afterward.

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