ISIL has claimed execution of 11 Christians in Nigeria during the festive period.
The Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari has criticised this development.
It was reported that ISIL-linked ISWAP split from Nigerian armed group Boko Haram in 2016.
Buhari however called them ‘agents of darkness’ from ISWAP. And urged unity between the country’s faith groups.
Earlier, a group affiliated with ISIL (also known as ISIS) has released a video claiming to show the execution. The video showed the execution of 11 Christians in northeast Nigeria, one day after Christmas.
Nevertheless, the footage was posted in an online Telegram news channel late on Thursday by ISIL-linked propaganda arm Amaq. It showed 11 blindfolded men being lined up at an unidentified outdoor location.
One man is shot before the other 10 are beheaded.
However, a masked man in the one minute video claimed the killings were in response to the death of ISIL chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and his spokesman.
Al-Baghdadi committed suicide in October to avoid capture during a United States raid.
Us Special Forces raided his hideout in the province of Idlib, Northwestern Syria.
In recent months, Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) has intensified its attacks on Christians, security personnel and aid workers.
They set up roadblocks on main roads and conduct searches for Christians.
A previous video seen by Reuters News Agency said that the captives were taken from Maiduguri and Damaturu in Nigeria.
That area is where fighters have been attempting for years to set up a separate state under Islamic law.
In an earlier video, the captives pleaded for Christian Association of Nigeria and President Buhari to intervene and save them.
PRESIDENT BUHARI CONDEMNS THE KILLING
President Mohammadu Buhari on Friday condemned the purported killers. Referring them as “remorseless, godless, callous gangs of mass murderers that have given Islam a bad name through their atrocities”.
Moreover, the president called for unity among Nigeria’s Christians and Muslims.
“These agents of darkness are enemies of our common humanity. And they don’t spare any victim, whether they are Muslims or Christians.”
ISWAP split from Nigerian armed group Boko Haram in 2016, pledging allegiance to al-Baghdadi.
Hoever it stepped up attacks on military outposts and troops in mid-2018. But has increasingly begun targeting civilians.
Furthermore, the decade-long armed uprising in northeast Nigeria has killed 36,000 people. It has also displaced around two million, according to the United Nations.
Regrettably, the violence had spread to Nigerian neighbouring countries like Niger, Chad and Cameroon.
This has resulted in the formation of a regional military coalition to fight the killers.