Fulani Muslim gunmen raided a mainly Christian village in Nigeria’s Plateau state on 13 December, leaving 17 believers dead, most of them women and children.
The gunmen managed to break into the meagrely constructed homes when they stormed the village of Kwata, close to the city of Jos, at around 8.30pm. “They hacked down helpless children and women, leaving them in the pool of their blood,” a local source told Nigeria’s This Day Live. “Others, who tried to escape into the nearby bush were shot by the attackers.”
The attackers killed 14 people and left many more wounded; three of the wounded died later in hospital, a local Christian leader told Barnabas.
Fulani Muslims are behind many attacks against Christians in rural parts of Nigeria’s Middle Belt. Authorities routinely downplay the religious motivations for these attacks, blaming the atrocities on ethnic tensions and land disputes.
Christians in the north-eastern states are also frequently targeted by Islamist Boko Haram militants. Constant fighting has forced many to leave their homes, some of them fleeing into neighbouring Cameroon. At least 20,000 people have lost their lives since Boko Haram initiated its violent campaign in 2009.