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'We killed them as revenge'
Islamic State terrorists from the group's West Africa Province killed 11 hostages — including 10 Christians — on Christmas Day in Nigeria.
The killings were allegedly carried out in order to avenge the deaths of ISIS leaders including Abu bakr al-Baghdadi, who was killed in October during a targeted U.S. raid in Syria.
What are the details?
ISIS filmed and released a 56-second video showing members beheading the hostages in an undisclosed area in Nigeria, reported Ahmad Salkida, a journalist who was first sent the video.
"We killed them as revenge for the killing of our leaders, including Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and [ISIS spokesman] Abul-Hasan al-Muhajir," said a member of the group's media unit in the video.
ISIS had previously captured and held 13 hostages who appeared in another recent video showing them pleading with the Christian Association of Nigeria to negotiate their release.
Among the 13 hostages, 10 were believed to be Christian and three Muslim, Salkida said. Two hostages were allegedly spared in the Christmas Day killings.
Salkida called the decision to kill the hostages "abrupt" and "shocking," as the terrorist group had just opened negotiations offering the exchange of the hostages for the release of ISIS members being held by the Nigerian government.
According to the Daily Mail, United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres offered his condolences, saying in a statement that he is "deeply concerned about reports that civilians have been executed, and others abducted, by armed group in northern Borno State, northeastern Nigeria" and that he has "expressed his deepest condolences to the families of the victims and reiterates the solidarity of the United Nations with the people and Government of Nigeria."
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari also condemned the killings but urged Nigerian Christians not to let the attacks grow into hatred for Muslims.
"We should, under no circumstance, let the terrorists divide us by turning Christians against Muslims because these barbaric killers don't represent Islam and millions of other law-abiding Muslims around the world," he said in a statement, according to BBC.
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