MAIDUGURI/CAIRO (Reuters) – Islamic State released a video purporting to show it killing 11 Christian men in Nigeria, saying it was part of a campaign to avenge the deaths of its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and its spokesman.
The militant group posted the footage on its online Telegram news channel on Thursday, the day after Christmas, with Arabic captions but no audio.
The video showed men in beige uniforms and black masks lining up behind blindfolded captives, then shooting one and beheading the rest.
A previous video seen by Reuters said the captives had been taken from Maiduguri and Damaturu in Nigeria’s northeast, where militants have been fighting for years to set up a separate Islamist state.
In that earlier video, the captives pleaded for the Christian Association of Nigeria and President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene to save them.
Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) split from the militant group Boko Haram in 2016 and has become the region’s dominant jihadist group.
Islamic State leader Baghdadi died during a U.S. military raid in Syria and Muhajir in a separate military operation, both over the same weekend in late October.
Reporting By Maiduguri newsroom and Ahmed Tolba in Cairo, writing by Libby George; Editing by Andrew Heavens