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Nigerian Massacre Targeted
Christian Students

BY STAFF/OPEN DOORS NEWS                                                                            ©2012 Baptist Press

New details from Open Doors News reconfirm earlier reports that Christians were the focus of an Oct. 1 massacre of 29 students in Mubi, Nigeria.

Jerry Dykstra, media relations director for Open Doors, said post-massacre follow-up by Open Doors workers at the site reconfirms an Oct. 3 report that Christians were the focus of the attack.

"Many mainstream media have reported the massacre was likely the result of a political/election issue among students at Federal Polytechnic State University," Dykstra said. "But Open Doors coworkers have reconfirmed that those targeted were mostly Christians. The coworkers have talked directly to Christian leaders in Mubi and to several survivors. Christians around the area of Mubi have been targeted by the Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram for a long time."

Open Doors reported that just before midnight, the attackers called students out of their rooms and asked them for their names. Those with Christian names were shot dead or killed with knives. The bodies were left in lines outside the buildings. Students with traditionally Muslim names were told to quote Islamic scripture.

"If you succeeded, you were let go," a survivor told an Open Doors worker who traveled to Mubi, located in northern Nigeria, after the attack.

"I was asked to say my name, to which I replied that I am a Christian and that my name is Elkanah," student Elkanah Sardauna said. "They threw me to the ground and shouted 'Allahu Akbar' [Allah is greater]. I cried out to Jesus, face to the ground. They demanded that I stop calling on Jesus but I persisted. The next moment I was shot in the hand and then slashed with a knife at the back of my neck. They must have thought I was dead because they left."

When the church in Mubi celebrated its 52nd anniversary on October 1, little did the church know that the day would end in a bloodbath.

According to Mubi church leaders, a total of 29 people, mostly students, were killed and at least five injured in the attack. Fully armed attackers suspected to be members of Boko Haram invaded the area, firing several shots into the air. They made their way to the off-campus hostels of the Federal Polytechnic State University, College of Health Technology and several private residencies of Christians. 

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