Nigeria: Dozens of Christians murdered in one week of jihadist attacks

Thursday, June 16, 2022 | Tag Cloud Tags: ,

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by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) – Jihadist terrorists in murdered dozens of Christians during the week of 5-12 June, in unusually well-planned attacks on churches, International Christian Concern (ICC) reports. Islamic jihadists have murdered more than 43,000 Christians in Nigeria since 2021, but the methods used in last week’s attacks appear to show a heightened level of sophistication and determination.

On June 5, jihadists killed 48 Igbo Christians in a bombing attack on St. Francis Catholic Church in the town of Owo in Ondo State on June 5. Showing unusual coordination, the attack involved numerous gunmen who fired on congregants inside and outside the building before escaping in a getaway car ICC said in its report.

A church member and survivor of this attack told ICC: “It was time to close with a prayer at noon when the attackers arrived at the church. The parish priest said, ‘go in peace.’ We were about to answer when the first gunshot killed a fifteen-year-old boy at the church gate.”

Another eyewitness to this attack told ICC it was carried out by Fulani militants: “The attack came as a surprise to us because the attackers were within the congregation,” the witness said. “Fulani militants attacked the church,” he added. “I lost four of my family members, and a total of forty-eight of my tribesmen were killed.”

The Chairman of the Christian Association of Owo County told ICC that Fulani militants have been attacking villages in Owo, murdering residents, destroying farms and raping women. The chairman said more than 100 Christians were killed in the last attack.

In another apparently well-planned and sophisticated attack, jihadists murdered 32 Christians at the Evangelical Winning All Church in Kajuru, Kaduna State on June 9.

Multiple eyewitnesses gave as yet unconfirmed reports that terrorists opened fire on congregants from a helicopter as well as from motorcycles.

“ICC will soon visit the community for details,” ICC said in its report. “If confirmed, the attackers’ use of a helicopter to conduct the attack represents a significant jump in sophistication and complexity—attackers usually prefer to arrive and leave on inconspicuous motorcycles and have not shot from helicopters in the past.”

In the same week, terrorists murdered nine Christians in Benue state and two Christian students in Plateau state.

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