Suspected Muslim Fulani Raiders Kill 12 Christians in Nigeria

A woman cries while trying to console a woman who lost her husband during the funeral service for people killed during clashes between cattle herders and farmers, on January 11, 2018, in Ibrahim Babangida Square in the Benue state capital Makurdi. Violence between the mainly Muslim Fulani herdsmen and Christian …
UTOMI EKPEI/AFP/Getty

Gunmen believed to be Muslim Fulani militants killed 12 people during a raid on Peigyim village in Nigeria’s Middle Belt, the Barnabas Fund reported Friday.

Luka Binniyat, a spokesman for the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU), confirmed that eleven people from the village had been killed in the September 12 assault, noting that the gunmen killed another man in nearby Atakshusho village as they were making their escape.

“They came while it was raining and divided themselves into groups. They targeted specific houses and when done, they left immediately,” one eyewitness reported on condition of anonymity.

“Scores of the villagers are missing at the moment,” the witness said. “It’s impossible for one to ascertain the number of those injured and even those killed; but so far, l have counted and found 11 dead persons in different locations.”

“The Atyapland is left to carry its cross in the hands of the attackers who moved from one village to the another killing, maiming, burning houses and destroying crops in farmlands at will, without being arrested,” he declared.

Church members carry placards reading "self defence is now the answer" "the jihad will not work", as they take part in a protest against the killing of people by suspected herdsmen in Makurdi, north-central Nigeria, on April 29, 2018. - On April 24, 2018, at least 18 people, including two Catholic priests, were killed in an attack on a church near the state capital Makurdi that was blamed on herdsmen. Eleven ethnic Hausa traders were killed in Makurdi in retaliation. Thousands of people have been killed over decades in clashes between cattle herders and farmers over land and water, with the conflict polarised along religious and ethnic lines. (Photo by EMMY IBU / AFP) (Photo credit should read EMMY IBU/AFP/Getty Images)

Church members carry placards reading “self defence is now the answer” “the jihad will not work”, as they take part in a protest against the killing of people by suspected herdsmen in Makurdi, north-central Nigeria, on April 29, 2018. (EMMY IBU/AFP/Getty Images)

The attack took place less than 24 hours after the ambush and murder of Pastor Silas Yakubu Ali, who was killed in the same locality when returning home from visiting his son. The cleric was reportedly hacked to death with machetes by his assailants.

Pastor Silas’s community and church have been attacked twice in the last two months, leaving the abandoned villages as veritable ghost towns, Barnabas reported.

“Many had fled to neighbouring villages that have not yet been attacked and a few men just come round from time to time in the afternoons just to check the conditions of the village and how some of the goats, pigs or farms that survived are faring,” one witness told Barnabas.

The day after the attack on Peigyim village, gunmen abducted a Catholic priest in the Ikulu Chiefdom of Zangon Kataf local government area of Kaduna state. The raiders stormed the residence of Father Luka Benson around 7:30 in the evening and carried him off.

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