Boko Haram Blamed for Deadly Church Attack in Nigeria

The gunmen were allegedly disguised as soldiers.

Posted: 06/04/2014 03:49 PM EDT

Suspected Boko Haram militants dressed as soldiers reportedly fired on a crowd in a church compound, killing dozens of villagers in the northeastern state of Borno, Nigeria, BBC reports.

According to the area’s residents, the Tuesday attacks were possibly carried out as revenge killings after some militants were killed at the hands of retaliating villagers earlier this week.

"They came in mass in military uniform with about 200 motorcycles…they said they came to rescue them [and] they should not run away," Peter Biye, a local member of parliament, told the BBC.

"They surrounded them. They started shooting them," Biye said, adding that the gunmen also burnt many buildings.

Biye claims to have previously warned the army that the area was at risk since troops once stationed nearby were removed three months ago.

These fresh attacks followed additional allegations made on Tuesday against the army. Local media revealed that 10 generals and five other senior military officers were being charged before a court martial for helping the Islamist militant group by providing arms and information. 

A military spokesman rejected the reports as “falsehoods,” whereas Interior Minister Abba Moro acknowledged the officers’ punishment, referring to it as “good news” in a Tuesday interview.

Since 2009, Boko Haram has attempted to create an Islamic state in Nigeria by waging a progressively bloody uprising. Thousands of people have been killed mostly throughout the northeastern region. The group recently came under fire for abducting more than 200 schoolgirls from the town of Chibok in April. 

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 (Photo: AP Photo/Sunday Alamba, File)

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