Jan 15 (Reuters) – Gunmen burned a Catholic priest alive and shot and wounded his colleague in northwestern Nigeria on Sunday, police said, the latest violence raising security concerns ahead of elections next month.

Nigerians will vote for a new president on February 25, but kidnappings for extortion and killings by armed gangs in the north have raised fears that no elections will be held in some areas.

The motive for the latest attack was not immediately clear, but the gunmen have previously attacked priests in the largely Muslim north.

Wasiu Abiodun, a spokesman for the Niger State Police, said in a statement that gunmen burned down the residence of Father Isaac Achi of Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church in the Paikoro local government area after failing to enter. around 3:00 a.m.

Father Achi was burned to death while another priest identified as Father Collins, who was in the house, was shot and wounded as he tried to escape.

He is recovering at a local hospital, Adiodun said.

“This is a sad moment. For a priest to be killed in such a way means that not all of us are safe. These terrorists have gone mad and drastic action is needed to end this ongoing carnage,” the state governor said. from Niger, Sani Bello.

Editorial information from Maiduguri, written by MacDonald Dzirutwe, edited by Andrew Cawthorne

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