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Nigerian Church Burned, at Least 32 Christians Killed in Three Separate Attacks on Plateau State Villages

02-05-2020
plateaustate
Map showing the location of Plateau State in the west African nation of Nigeria. (Image credit: CBN News)

New reports out of Nigeria indicate Muslim Fulani herdsmen have launched more murderous attacks against Christian villages.

Morning Star News reports at least 32 people were killed and a pastor's house and church building were burned down in two nights of attacks last week in Plateau State by the Islamic militants.

The Church of Christ in Nations (COCIN) building and house were destroyed in an attack on predominantly Christian Marish village on Jan. 27. It was one of three communities in Bokkos County that underwent a series of armed assaults that began the previous evening, area residents said. 

The attacks were the latest bloodshed in an escalation of violence in Plateau state, where herdsmen killed Christians in Riyom and Mangu counties earlier this month.

Herdsmen killed 17 people in Marish and Ruboi villages on Monday after killing 15 people in an attack on Kwatas on Sunday (Jan. 26), Titus Ayuba Alams, former speaker of the Plateau state House of Assembly, told Morning Star News

The attacks took place between the hours of 7:00 pm and 4:00 am on Kwatas on Sunday, and also on Monday within the same time frame on Ruboi and Marish by the herdsmen," Alam said.

Five people were wounded in the attacks and several houses were burned, area resident Theophilus Mancha told Morning Star News.

"A pregnant woman and 16 others have been killed," Mancha said.

Kwatas, Marish, and Ruboi are suburbs of Bokkos town located about nine miles southwest of Plateau State University.

Kelly Kanang, another area resident, confirmed that Fulani herdsmen launched the attacks.

"Our people have been killed again. About 15 of the dead have been evacuated to the mortuary along with many others that sustained injuries during the attack on Sunday night," Benjamin Dogo of Kwatas told Morning Star News in a text message.

State police said 13 persons were killed and five injured in the attack on Kwatas. Police spokesman Ubah Gabriel Ogaba confirmed the attack by "unknown gunmen" on Kwatas.

"My heart again bleeds by this tragedy as lives of innocent citizens are cut short for no reason," Plateau Gov. Simon Lalong said in a statement. "Security agencies must go after those who are behind these attacks and their sponsors so they can face the law and be taught a lesson."

Sen. Istifanus Gyang, deputy chairman of the Nigerian Senate Committee on Defense, said attacks on the Christian communities raise questions on the readiness of security agencies to protect people against attacks by herdsmen.

"Only last week, Kombun village in Mangu LGA was attacked and now, it is Kwatas, Marish, and Ruboi villages in neighboring Bokkos LGA," he said.

This attack on Nigerian Christians is just one in a long line of murders of Christian believers there. Last year (2019) some 1,000 Nigerian Christians were murdered. The Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust (HART), headed up by a member of the British House of Lords, Baroness Cox, estimates that 6,000 Christians in Nigeria have been murdered since 2015, according to an earlier report by CBN News.

As CBN News reported last month, Save the Persecuted Christians (STPC), a bipartisan, multi-faith coalition of nearly 200 civic, faith, and community leaders who pray and advocate for the more than 300 million persecuted Christians around the world, is calling for a US special envoy to be sent to Nigeria and the Lake Chad region because of the extreme violence against Christians there.

Meanwhile, the mainstream media in the US remains silent as Muslim terrorists' merciless killing of Nigerian Christians continues. 

Nigeria is ranked 12th on Open Doors' 2020 World Watch List of countries where Christians suffer the most persecution.

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