The Islamic State in West African Province (ISWAP) fighters have reportedly executed 11 captives in its den on Christmas Day.
Ahmad Salkida, a conflict journalist known for monitoring of terrorist activities in Nigeria’s northeast, claimed that the captives were executed on Christmas Day.
Salkida, who disclosed this on his website @ salkida.com, said ISWAP boasted that the captives were executed as a revenge for the killings of some of their leaders including Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and Abul-Hasan Al-Muhajir in Iraq and Syria.
“But conflict journalists and researchers, including Jacob Zenn, said ‘it is possible Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) ordered ISWAP to kill the hostages as it had intervened in other hostage situations,” he said.
He however, debunked claims by the terror group that all the victims are Christians.
“Not all 11 of the victims are Christians as claimed by the group, there were three Muslims and 10 Christians that appeared in the captured video on the 17th December,” Salkida said in a post on his website.
“The terrorist group claimed that they spared the lives of two persons that appeared in the earlier video, but did not give their names.
“However, a careful assessment of the video revealed that Suwaiba Kashimu from Nasarawa state, and one other male, were apparently not amongst those killed on Christmas,” Salkida wrote.
“The decision to execute the captives was rather swift, abrupt and shocking. ISWAP had reportedly opened a window of negotiations ostensibly to exchange the freedom of the captives with those of its members in government custody but the Nigerian government failed to take the offer,” he concluded.
Meanwhile the Nigerian Army has not confirmed or denied the report.
The acting Director of Defence Information, Brig. Onyema Nwachukwu, while responding to journalists’ inquiry on the veracity or otherwise of the report on Thursday night, referred the matter to the Nigerian Army, saying it was the army’s place to react.
The ISWAP in north-east Nigeria is made up mostly of insurgents who broke away from the Boko Haram terrorist group.