Nigerian priest burned alive in home after failed burglary attempt by gunmen

A Nigerian priest was burned alive in his home in the country’s north on Sunday, police said.

Rev. Isaac Achi was killed in the Paikoro area of Niger state after gunmen failed to break into his house and instead set it on fire, said Wasiu Abiodun, the police spokesman. A second priest living in the compound escaped with a gunshot wound to his shoulder, he said.

“Unfortunately, the bandits reportedly attempted to gain entrance into the residence, which seemed difficult,” so they “set the house ablaze” and the Catholic priest burned to death, Wasiu said.

Nigerian authorities are struggling to stem rising violence in the north and central regions where armed groups target rural communities, killing thousands and abducting people to ransom. Security forces are often outnumbered and outgunned and suspects are seldom detained, residents said.

MORE THAN 50 PEOPLE KILLED IN ‘VILE AND SATANIC’ ATTACK ON NIGERIAN CATHOLIC CHURCH

Nigerian gunmen were unable to break into the home of a Catholic priest, so they instead set fire to it – burning the priest alive. Nigeria’s officials have been struggling to control the violence as it targets religious figures.

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The attacks sometimes target religious figures such as clerics. In July last year, Rev. John Mark Chietnum was killed after he was kidnapped in the northwestern Kaduna state.

Sunday’s incident sparked international condemnation. In a statement, Antonio Tajani, the Italian foreign minister, called the attack “cowardly and inhuman.”

Niger state Gov. Abubakar Sani Bello said the killing signaled that no one was safe. “These terrorists have lost it and drastic action is needed to end this ongoing carnage,” he said.

Nigeria’s Christian Association has asked authorities to investigate and do more to protect civilians. “Enough of the attacks and wanton killings of innocent Nigerian citizens,” said Bulus Yohanna, the association’s chairman.