DAMBOA, Nigeria – Gunmen believed to be Islamic militants lured Muslims with a call to prayer and gunned them down as they entered the mosque in Damboa village in the latest killings reported in an Islamic uprising in northeast Nigeria, residents and officials said.
The tactics used by Nigeria’s Boko Haram terrorist network in Saturday’s attack that killed seven residents seem to contradict the thinking of some other Islamic extremists on the continent. Al-Shabab gunmen allowed Muslims to leave Kenya’s Westgate mall during their Sept. 21 attack, acting on the realization that the indiscriminate killing of Muslims is a strategic liability.
Survivors in Damboa said almost all seven people killed were elderly men who used no watches and set the start of their day by the muezzin’s call. So they may not have realized that anything was wrong when Saturday’s call to prayer came at 4 a.m. instead of the usual 5 a.m.
Kolomi Abba said the attackers first went to the muezzin and forced him to chant the prayer early, then waited for their prey in the mosque.
Saturday’s attack turned Damboa’s mosque into a battleground. Soldiers protecting the village heard the cries of the men being killed and rushed to the scene. Military spokesman Capt. Aliyu Danja said the troops killed 15 attackers.