The terrorist group Islamic State (IS – also known as ISIS, ISIL, Daesh) has released a video that claims to show the murders of about 20 Nigerian Christians.
The video was published on an IS-linked news outlet and shows masked and armed militants standing behind three groups of kneeling captives. The arms of the captives, who are wearing civilian clothes, appear to be tied behind their backs.
The time and location of the killings is not known; however, the authenticity of the video has been confirmed by SITE Intelligence Group, an American non-governmental organisation that tracks jihadi groups. The authorities in Nigeria have not commented on the footage.
Speaking on the video in the Hausa language, one of the masked militants states the murders were carried out to avenge the killing of IS leader Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi during an airborne raid conducted at night in February by US special forces in north-western Syria.
On 26 December 2019 militants belonging to Islamic State West Africa Province posted a video of the beheading of ten Christian men and the shooting dead of an eleventh man.
They stated the killings, which are believed to have happened on Christmas Day, were to avenge the deaths of its then leader in US military action in Syria in October 2019.