At least six Igbo synagogues were razed by soldiers last week in Nigeria’s River State, located in the country’s Biafra region, 9Africa news reported.
The incident took place as soldiers besieged Oyigbo, Etche, Iriebe and Eleme after violence broke out as a result of a youth protest demanding an end to police brutality in the country, 9Africa news reported, citing Igbo Jewish adherents who escaped the attack.
During the siege, at least 50 people were killed and an eyewitness said two people were arrested at a synagogue in Iriebe Okpulor for “wearing Kippah & Magen” [star of David].
Disturbing reports from Biafra, Nigeria alleging that six synagogue were besieged & burnt, at least 50 Igbo Jews killed,& others arrested. At our Jewish Africa Conference, @RemyIlona discussed the Igbo's tragic history#Antisemitism @USEAntiSemitism @Conf_of_Pres @CombatASemitism https://t.co/OvSDvGl6xY
— American Sephardi Federation (ASF) (@AmericanSephard) November 16, 2020
— Mazi Nnamdi Kanu (@MaziNnamdiKanu) November 12, 2020
The Biafra region is mostly populated with the Igbo ethnic group, the majority of which are Christians, according to the Forward. Many Igbo believe that they are descended from a lost tribe of Israel, and include Jewish practices amid those of their own religion. However, some smaller groups identify as Jews themselves.
Campaigning for the secession of the former Easter region of Nigeria is a group called the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), which is led by an exiled activist named Nnamdi Kanu, who identifies as Jewish.