By BosNewsLife Africa Service
ABUJA, NIGERIA (BosNewsLife)– Nigerian athorities were under pressure Tuesday, March 26, to investigate the reported attack on a Christian family in which a rogue soldier killed a young girl and an infant, while injuring their sister, mother and grandmother
Local Christians said a member of the Special Task Force (STF), set up by the government to protect communities against Islamic attacks, was believed to be responsible for the March 17 bloodshed in the village of Torok, some 65 kilometers (41 miles) southwest of Jos in Nigeria’s central Plateau state.
Christian news agency Morning Star News quoted Lyop Dangyel, a mother of three, as saying she was injured in the same shooting spree that killed her nine-month old baby and second daughter Nancy, who is five.
Dengyel, 30, said she had asked her bleeding 7-year-old daughter Comfort to pray for her survival. “Dear Jesus, please save me and mom,” Comfort reportedly began, as Dangyel silently joined her in prayer that their lives would not ebb away.
Minutes later, her husband, Dangyel Chuwang, returned to find his wife, first-born daughter and 50-year-old mother wounded, along with the corpses of his infant and five-year-old, Morning Star News said.
A high school student, Elisha Dalyop, said he was also injured in the March 17 attack when he was shot in the leg by an unidentified STF policeman after escaping from the family home where the initial shooting occurred.
The violence has underscored attacks against Christians in the area.
On March 14, Islamic extremist gunmen reportedly shot a Christian high school student, Davou Gwong, in his thighs at about in nearby Wereng village.
Previous attacks on Wereng village took place in July and December when at least one elderly man Danburang Tengwom a father of eight children, was killed, Christians said.
Riyom Local Government Chairman Sam Audu was quoted as saying that that STF forces are responsible for some of the 100 deaths and 60 wounded in the area the past six months.
He and others demand the withdrawal of STF soldiers tasked with keeping Muslim, ethnic Fulani gunmen from hit-and-run murders of predominantly Christian, ethnic Berom people.
The violence has been encouraged by Islamic group Boko Haram, which also attacks Christians as part of its attempt to carve out an Islamic state.
Last week, dozens of people were killed in a series of explosions that rocked a bus station in the Christian neighborhood of Nigeria’s northern city of Kano.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the five explosions, but Boko Haram, or ‘Western education is a sin’, had been linked to other attacks against Christians and churches in the city.
Other known incidents since last month included suspected Muslim attackers using machetes and guns to murder 10 members of the same Christian family February 21 in Plateau state, with half the victims under the age of six, the military and government confirmed.
Seperately a six-month-old baby and a 13-year-old girl were among five killed in a February 23 attack on a Christian funeral gathering by suspected Muslim Fulani gunmen in the town of Aduwan in Kaduna state, Christians said. The gunmen had also tried, unsuccessfully, to blow up one of the village’s churches, according to Christians familiar with the situation.
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, a Christian, has come under pressure to improve protection of Christians, who comprise roughly half of Nigeria’s 158 million people, though he claims security forces have stepped up patrols in the region.
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