By BosNewsLife Africa Service
ABUJA, NIGERIA (BosNewsLife)– Christians in two states of Nigeria were mourning Wednesday, July 7, the killings of at least eight Christian believers, after Muslim militants reportedly attacked several villages.
“On the night of July 3, several Muslims attacked Kizachi village in Kaduna State and killed five Christians, including a primary school teacher and mother of six children. The Muslims also burned down five Christian homes,” said International Christian Concern (ICC), a well-informed advocacy group.
ICC quoted Nigerian sources as saying police had stopped protecting the village on July 2 as the government failed to pay their salaries. There was no immediate comment from Nigerian police.
In the second attack, on the night of July 4, 200 Muslims armed with guns and machetes reportedly invaded Ganawuri community, near the town of Jos, which has been the scene of previous deadly sectarian clashes.
Three Christians were feared dead in that violence. In a statement, a representative of the Nigerian military’s Special Task Force (STF), Lt. Col. Kingsley Umoh, said attackers were suspected herdsmen from neighboring communities of Kaduna State.
He said STF received a distress call which they responded to, and engaged in a fire fight with the attackers. One of the suspects received gunshot wounds and six were arrested, Umoh said.
Those arrested have since been handed over to the Criminal Investigations Department of the state police command for further investigations, ICC added.
Rights activists said the latest violence came on the heels of a March 7 Islamic attack against Christians in Jos, in which over 500 mainly women and children were reportedly murdered. “It is estimated that many more thousands of Christians have been killed in northern Nigeria since the introduction of Sharia law”, or Muslim law, in 2001, ICC explained.
“We are outraged by the latest killings of Christians in northern Nigeria. Once again, Nigerian officials have failed to provide needed security for the citizens of Kaduna and Plateau States,” stressed ICC Regional Manager for Africa, Jonathan Racho. Racho said his organization has urged Nigerian authorities to quickly bring all the perpetrators of the attacks to justice and fully investigate the lapse in security.