After authorities in Nigeria ignored warnings that thousands of cattlemen were arriving in Benue state, suspected herdsmen on Saturday (Jan. 28) attacked two villages there and killed 12 Christians, Morning Star News reported.
The assailants attacked Ichembe and Mbaigbe villages in Kwande County and wounded dozens of others, besides destroying houses, crops and farms, said Michael Aondohemba, general coordinator of the Turan People’s Assembly.
‘Fangs of terror’
“Before these attackers unleashed their fangs of terror on our hitherto peaceful communities, we had raised early warning alarms on the influx of thousands of herdsmen into the banks areas of River Benue where our communities are located,” Aondohemba said. “We had called on security agencies to intervene, but no help came, thereby leaving our helpless, poor and innocent people vulnerable.”
Area resident Joseph Asawa sent Morning Star News a text message stating that the 12 people killed were Christians.
“The 12 Christians were gruesomely massacred by suspected herdsmen,” Asawa said. “Many other Christians were displaced from the two communities, and they’re currently taking refuge at Jato-Aka town.”
Nigeria led the world in Christians killed for their faith in 2022, with 5,014, according to Open Doors’ 2023 World Watch List (WWL) report. It also led the world in Christians abducted (4,726), sexually assaulted or harassed, forcibly married or physically or mentally abused, and it had the most homes and businesses attacked for faith-based reasons. As in the previous year, Nigeria had the second most church attacks and internally displaced people.
In the 2023 World Watch List of the countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian, Nigeria jumped to sixth place, its highest ranking ever, from No. 7 the previous year.
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