Gunmen Kill Nigeria Catholic Priest, Shoot Another

A Roman Catholic priest has been killed by armed gunmen at his parish in northern Nigeria, who then burned his rectory, in the village of Kafin Koro, Niger state, to the ground.

The body of Father Isaac Achi was found in the charred ruins of the building.

Another priest, Father Collins Omeh, was shot as he tried to escape the blaze and was later taken to hospital.

He told local reporters that Father Achi was shot dead by the gunmen, who he said were shouting jihadi slogans.

In a separate incident, a gang in the north-western state of Katsina kidnapped at least five people as they prepared for a church service.

Father Achi had survived a Boko Haram attack 12 years earlier, an obituary in the Daily Trust newspaper says.

On Christmas day 2011, a suicide bomber hit a church in Madalla, Niger state, where Father Achi was working at the time, the Daily Trust reports.

More than 30 people were killed and others were injured, but Father Achi was unhurt and then led the memorial service.

He survived several other attacks, including a kidnapping, the Daily Trust says quoting a family source.

Father Achi was the chairman of the local branch of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), which condemned his killing and expressed concern about a recent spate of attacks on Christians.

Niger state Governor Alhaji Sani Bello Abubakar condemned the attack as “ungodly and inhumane” and ordered local security forces to pursue the assailants.

Nigeria has been battling militant Islamist group Boko Haram – and its offshoots – for more than a decade. Its fighters have targeted both Christians and Muslims in that time.