By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
ABUJA (Worthy News) – Islamic Fulani herdsmen have killed scores of Christians in a village in central Nigeria after murdering and injuring more than 100 other believers the previous week, Christians said Tuesday.
The gunmen reportedly said the October 19 attack in Gbeji village in the Ukum County of Nigeria’s Benue state was retaliation for the alleged killing of five Fulani herders the day before.
Terumbur Kartyo, chairman of the Ukum Local Government Council in Benue, told Christian news agency Morning Star News that “in just two days, over 70 Christians were killed.”
Kartyo added that in Guma Local Government Area, herdsmen last week shot and injured more than 100 Christians in Udei and Yelewata villages, displacing thousands.
Ukum area resident Bede Bartholomew told Morning Star News in a text message that at least 56 Christians were killed in Gbeji town last week. “About 36 corpses of some of the victims have so far been recovered and taken to the mortuary,” he was quoted as saying.
The reported killings come amid broader concerns about massive Islamic violence against Christians in several parts of the African nation.
Gunmen also launched an armed assault on a church service in Kogi State on Sunday, 16 October, killing two worshippers and wounding three others. Christians said that the area was no longer safe for them.
In another incident the previous month, suspected Islamists abducted 43 people from the Kajura area of Kaduna State, Christian aid group Barnabas Fund told Worthy News. “The majority” of those kidnapped “were worshippers at a mid-week church service,” the group added.
Elsewhere the monarch of the Christian-majority Atyap Chiefdom in Nigeria’s Middle Belt area Dominic Yahaya, reportedly revealed that 245 people had been killed and 623 houses razed by suspected Fulani Islamist militants in recent years.
Nigeria led the world in Christians killed for their faith last year, with 4,650 killed between October 1, 2020, to September 30, 2021, according to the advocacy group Open Doors’ 2022 World Watch List. That is up from 3,530 the previous year, according to Open Doors investigators.
The number of kidnapped Christians was also highest in Nigeria, at more than 2,500, up from 990 the last year, noted the World Watch List.
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