In a bid to avenge the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the terror group released a video on December 26, a day after Christmas, in which its militants killed 10 Christian men in Nigeria. The footage was posted on the ISIS online Telegram news channel a day after Christmas, with Arabic captions but no audio.
In the video, 11 captive men are seen blindfolded of which ten are beheaded and the 11th is shot dead by militants in beige uniforms and black masks. As per news reports, there was earlier footage in which the captives had been taken from Maiduguri and Damaturu in Nigeria's northeastern state of Borno, where militants have been fighting for years to set up a separate ISIS.
The captives were seen pleading to the Christian Association of Nigeria and President Muhammadu Buhari to save them in the previous video. It is unknown if the videos are authentic or foul play.
President Buhari condemned the killings over Twitter on December 28. He wrote that he was saddened and shocked by the death of innocent hostages. He called the terrorists remorseless, godless, callous gangs of mass murderers that have given Islam a bad name through their atrocities.
He further urged the citizens to not be divided the terrorist actions, because these 'barbaric' killers do not represent Islam and millions of other law-abiding Muslims around the world.
He explained that no true Muslim would be shouting 'Allahu Akbar’ while killing innocent people, an evil frequently condemned by the Holy Qur'an. Buhari claimed that the goal of these 'agents of darkness' is to cause confusion and spread distrust between Muslims and Christians, despite the fact that they aren't representing the interest of Muslims or Islam.
These agents of darkness are enemies of our common humanity and they don't spare any victim, whether they are Muslims or Christians, and therefore, we shouldn't let them divide us and turn us against one another.— Muhammadu Buhari (@MBuhari) December 27, 2019
Buhari called upon Nigerians to stand united against terrorism and to avoid unhelpful conspiracy theories that serve the interest of Boko Haram terrorists and ISWAP. He wrote that as a nation's president, security is his main preoccupation and that the killings have distressed him.
He reassured the Nigerians that his administration will not lower its guard in the war against terrorism. The country will continue to intensify its efforts towards strengthening international cooperation and collaboration to break the backbone of the evildoers, he said.