The Islamic State of West Africa (ISWAP), the continent’s branch of the Islamic State, has said it killed 10 Christians in Nigeria during the Christmas eve because some of their leaders in the Middle East were killed by the US.

The group which made the claim in a 56-second video produced by Amaq, IS’ news agency and released on December 26, showed 12 hostages, 10 said to be Christians while the remaining two were Muslims.

The group claimed that they spared the lives of the Muslims and that the execution of the Christians was part of its revenge against the killing of its leaders after failure to negotiate their release.

The insurgent claimed the victims were “captured in the past weeks in north-eastern Borno state”.

“We killed them as revenge for the killings of our leaders, including Abu bakr al-Baghdadi and Abdul-Hasan Al-Muhajir in Iraq and Syria,” the group said.

However, details of the victims, who were all male, were not given.

Last week, insurgents had mounted a checkpoint on the road to Monguno local government area, killing some victims and abducting others.