Gunmen believed to be members of theBoko Haram that has claimed responsibility for a wave of bloody attacks in the north, killed 28 people and wounded many others on Thursday and Friday in Gombe and Mubi, Adamawa State.
Eyewitnesses said the gunmen had stormed the venue of a meeting in Mubi and fired directly into the crowd, which was said to have gathered to discuss how to transport the body of their kinsman shot dead on Thursday evening by unidentified assassins on motorcycles.
As a result of the incident, which occurred about 24 hours after another set of suspected Boko Haram militants launched a deadly attack on a church in a town in neighbouring Gombe State, panic has spread among southerners resident in Mubi.
The Gombe killings had taken place during a prayer service in a branch of the Deeper Life Christian Church in Nassarawo.
Reports monitored online said the attackers, who were many and armed with AK47 rifles, had shot through the windows of the church, killing six worshippers and wounding 10 others. One of the dead was the wife of the pastor of the church, Mr. Johnson Jauro.
Both attacks came before the expiration of a three-day ultimatum issued by Boko Haram to southern Christians living in northern Nigeria to pack and leave the region or face dire consequences.
The sect had reacted to President Goodluck Jonathan’s declaration of a state of emergency in four states in the north.
Following the Christmas Day bombing of a Catholic church in Madalla, a community near Abuja, the President made a decisive move to check the surge in sectarian and ethnic violence in the north by imposing emergency rule in 15 local government Areas in Yobe, Borno, Plateau, and Niger states.
As a result of the bloody Friday attack, many Igbo traders in Mubi town are said to have closed their shops and getting ready to flee the area.
A purported spokesman for Boko Haram on Friday claimed responsibility for the attack on the Igbo community meeting and the church in Gombe.
“We are responsible for the attacks in Mubi and Gombe,” the spokesman, who goes by the name Abul Qaqa, told journalists by phone.
In another development, a gun battle between the police and suspected Boko Haram militants was reported in Potiskum in Yobe State, a few hours after the killings in Mubi on Friday.