Military: 5 killed in northeast Nigeria attack

JOS, Nigeria (AP) — The minister who heads the Christian Association of Nigeria says gunmen attacked a Christian village in northeast Nigeria early Christmas morning, setting homes ablaze and killing a number of people including the pastor of a church.

The Rev. Musa Asake (ah-SAH'-kay) says the attacks happened before dawn as the victims slept.

A Nigerian military spokesman says at least five people were killed and four were wounded.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, though suspicion immediately fell on the radical Islamic group Boko Haram, which has killed dozens of Christians in attacks on churches the last two Christmases.

More than 770 people have been killed in Boko Haram attacks so far this year, according to an Associated Press count, making 2012 the worst year of violence attributed to the group. Boko Haram also has loose connections with al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb and Somalia's al-Shabab, according to Western military officials and diplomats.

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146-a-08-(The Reverend Musa Asake (ah-SAH'-kay), general secretary, Christian Association of Nigeria, in AP interview)-"was actually killed"-The Reverend Musa Asake, general secretary of the Christian Association of Nigeria, says Christians were killed in their homes on Christmas morning. (25 Dec 2012)

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145-a-06-(The Reverend Musa Asake (ah-SAH'-kay), general secretary, Christian Association of Nigeria, in AP interview)-"of the church"-The Reverend Musa Asake, general secretary of the Christian Association of Nigeria, says gunmen have killed a minister and other Christians in their homes on Christmas morning. (25 Dec 2012)

<<CUT *145 (12/25/12)>> 00:06 "of the church"

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