By BosNewsLife Africa Service with reporting by BosNewsLife’s Paul Jongas reporting from Nigeria
ABUJA, NIGERIA (BosNewsLife)– Suspected herdsmen from the mainly Muslim Fulani ethnic group stormed an evangelical church and fired shots during a New Year’s Eve worship service in central Nigeria, killing as many as three people and injuring 16 others, reports said Thursday, January 2.
Witnesses and officials told local media that gunmen began attacking the Church of Christ in All Nations (COCIN) at Maiakworigold Maikatako village in Bokkos Local Government Council of Plateau State late Tuesday, December 31.
Most people were killed or injured when worshipers tried to flee in different directions. Many of the injured were later rushed to hospitals in the cities of Jos and Barkin Ladi, Nigerian media reported.
The speaker of the Plateau State House of Assembly, Titus Alams, reportedly said the attack overshadowed attempts to “sustain the current peace we are enjoying in the state.”
Alams was quoted as saying that he urged security forces “to do everything in their power to fish out those responsible for this heinous crime against humanity”.
He appealed to the youths “to resist the urge of taking the law into their hands” following the attack.
The latest violence comes amid growing concerns about rising Islamic extremism in Nigeria. Fulani herdsmen have been linked to killing more than 200 Christians over the last six months in areas that also include the southern Benue state, according to Christian leaders.
At least 10,000 people have reportedly been displaced because of the Fulani attacks.
The violence has also been fueled by fighters of the more known Boko Haram group, which has pledged to establish an Islamic state.
(BosNewsLife, the first truly independent news agency covering persecuted Christians, is ‘Breaking the News for Compassionate Professionals’ since 2004).
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