ABUJA, NIGERIA (Worthy News)– Suspected Islamic militants attacked an evangelical church in northeast Nigeria during a worship service late Thursday, January 5, killing at least six people and injuring 10 others, Worthy News learned.
Pastor Johnson Jauro told reporters that his wife was among those killed when gunfire sprayed his Deeper Life Church in Gombe, the capital of the African nation's Gombe state.
The assault came after Islamic group Boko Haram, or 'Western education is a sin', ordered Christians on Monday, January 2, to leave northern Nigeria "within three days" or face deadly attacks.
Boko Haram, which wants to establish a state based on Shariah, or Muslim, law did not immediately claim Thursday's violence, but it is known to have attacked several churches.
The shadowy militant group also claimed responsibility for a series of bomb attacks across Nigeria on Christmas Day, including one at a church near the capital Abuja that killed close to 40 people and injured nearly 60 others.
In published remarks Pastor Jauro recalled that when the attackers started shooing they "shot through the window" of the church. "Many people were killed including my wife." He added that "many" worshipers, apparently 10, "were also injured."
Local police confirmed the attack but declined to say how many people were killed or injured. Church leaders and politicians have expressed concerns that the group want to trigger reprisals from Christians against Muslims. Nigeria’s close to 160 million people are divided between the mainly Muslim north and predominately Christian south.
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, a Christian, has declared a state of emergency in four northern states.