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Published On: Sat, Jul 20th, 2013

Death toll rising in Nigeria with countless reports of Muslims killing Christians as violence spreads

Gunmen killed six Christians in an early morning attack on the Dinu village in southern Plateau state, a month after  Muslim Fulani herdsmen shot a Christian to death in a nearby village, Christian leaders said.

Nigeria

Image/CIARel

The identities of the gunmen and the victims were not immediately known, though the Rev. Johnson Kikem, chairman of a nearby Regional Church Council of the Church of Christ in Nations (COCIN), reported that church members who fled the village in Wase Local Government Area said the assailants were Muslims.

“Some of our church members there who escaped from the village and ran to us here in Langtang brought the news of the attack,” Kikem said. “We have been told that six of our members have been killed.”

In what is being called the “Langtang Massacre,” more than 30 Christian men, women and children were slain in three villages in southern Plateau state, authorities now have said.

Initially a Muslim spokesman for the military’s Special Task Force (STF), Capt. Salisu Mustapha, said the Christian residents of Magama, Bolgong and Karkashi were attacked by Fulani herdsmen in apparent retaliation for cattle theft.

The extent of the massacre and the STF’s firestorm response – killing 20 of the assailants in gun battles, and tracking down and killing another 100 – indicated the attacks resulted from more than tribal conflict, and a week later a more authoritative STF officer denied the attack grew out of ethnic tensions.

“This is not a case of ethnic crisis between [Muslim] Fulani and [Christian] Tarok, it was a case where some gunmen came to attack residents of three communities of Langtang South Local Government,” Maj. Gen. Henry Ayoola, commander of the STF in Plateau state, told reporters in Jos. “We found that most of the attackers were not even Nigerians; also, many of them wore talismans and all manners of things over their bodies.”

Police and Christian leaders reported that 23 people were killed in the Christian community of Magama, and several houses were destroyed; in Bolgang, eight Christians were killed; and a Christian leader told Morning Star News that two others were killed on the road between Magama and Karkashi.

Kikem of COCIN told Morning Star News that other villages had also been attacked, raising the death toll.

“The number of Christians killed may be as high as 70, as corpses of Christians killed while fleeing these attacked villages still litter the bushes,” he said earlier this month. “The Muslim attackers chased their Christian victims on motorcycles and were killing them as they tried to escape. So many dead bodies have been recovered from the bush, and we believe that more may still be found.”

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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