Islamic Assailants Kill Hundreds of Christians Near Jos, Nigeria

by | Mar 8, 2010 | Charisma Archive

Islamic Assailants Kill Hundreds of Christians Near Jos, Nigeria

An uneasy calm prevailed in
Plateau state, Nigeria, Monday following the killing of hundreds of Christians
early Sunday morning in three farming villages near Jos by ethnic Fulani
Muslims.

The mostly ethnic Berom
victims included many women and children killed with machetes by rampaging
Fulani herdsmen. About 75 houses were also burned.

State Information
Commissioner Gregory Yenlong confirmed that about 500 persons were
killed
in
the
attacks, which
took place mainly in Dogo Nahawa
, Zot and
Rastat
villages.

“We were woken up by
gunshots in the middle of the night, and before we knew what was happening, our
houses were torched and they started hacking down people” survivor Musa Gyang
told media.

The assailants
reportedly came on foot from a neighboring state to beat security forces that
had been alerted of a possible attack on the villages but did not act
beforehand.

The attack on Sunday is
the latest in several religious clashes in the state in recent months that have
claimed lives and property. Plateau state is a predominantly Christian state in
a country almost evenly divided between Christians and Muslims. The Muslim
minority has been contesting ownership of some parts of the state, leading to
frequent clashes.

Bishop Andersen Bok, national
coordinator of t
he Plateau State Elders Christian
Fellowship
, along with group Secretary General Musa Pam, described the attack as yet another “jihad and
provocation on Christians.”

“Dogo Nahawa is a
Christian community,” the Christian leaders said in a statement. “Eyewitnesses
say the Hausa Fulani Muslim militants were chanting ‘
Allah
Akbar
,’ broke into
houses, cutting human beings, including children and women with their knives and
cutlasses.”

Soon after the militants besieged Dogo
Nahawa, the Christian leaders said, at 1:30 a.m. they contacted the military,
which is in charge of security in the state.

“But we were shocked to
find out that the soldiers did not react until about 3:30 a.m., after the Muslim
attackers had finished their job and left,” they stated. “We are tired of these
genocides on our
Christian brothers and state here
that we will not let this go unchallenged.”

Pentecostal Fellowship
of Nigeria (PFN) President Ayo Oritsejafor decried the attack on the Christian
community as barbaric and urged the federal government to stop the killing of
innocent citizens or risk a total breakdown of law and order.

“I have just returned
from a trip abroad,” he said. “While I was away, I was inundated with reports of
another catastrophe in the Jigawa state capital, where several churches were
burnt, and just as I was trying to settle down and collate reports from the
field, I am hearing of another on Sunday morning.”

Director of Social
Communications, Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Rev. Monsignor Gabriel Osu said
the Sunday killing in Jos is a major setback for the country’s effort to gain
the confidence of the international community.

“Do you know that
because of things like these, anywhere Nigerians travel to they are subjected to
dehumanizing scrutiny?” he said. “Any act of violence at this time is totally
condemned, and the government should make haste to fish out all identified
perpetrators of such heinous crimes against God so that we can move forward as a
people united under one umbrella.”

On Friday the
National Youth President of the PFN, Dr. Abel Damina, expressed concern over
cases of clandestine killings of Christians in remote parts of Plateau state by
Islamic extremists and called on the federal government to retrieve
sophisticated weapons in their possession.

“Even as I speak to you
now, I am receiving reports that some clandestine killings are still going on in
the remote areas of Plateau State by the fundamentalists,” Damina reportedly
said. “They pounce on Christians and kill them without anybody knowing much of
their identity except that they are Christians.”

He added that recently
he visited the governor in Jos regarding the crisis and secured photos of
Christian victims.

“Young men, Christians,
were going to their farm to harvest their produce and the fundamentalists
pounced on them,” he said. “They were called infidels. At the last conference,
we received reports with photographs of the fundamentalists using AK-47 rifles
to destroy our churches. Where did they get the arms from? We have reports of
truck loads of arms that had been intercepted, and we did not hear anything
about them.”

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