Washington, D.C. (July 6, 2010)–International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that this past weekend Muslims attacked Christian villages and killed at least eight Christians in Kaduna and Plateau States of northern Nigeria.
On the night of July 3, several Muslims attacked Kizachi village in Kaduna State and killed five Christians, including a primary school teacher and mother of six children. The Muslims also burned down five Christian homes.
Nigerian sources told ICC that the police had stopped protecting the village on July 2 after the government failed to pay their salaries.
In the second attack, on the night of July 4, 200 Muslims armed with guns and machetes invaded Ganawuri community, near Jos. Three Christians are feared dead.
A spokesperson of the Nigerian military’s Special Task Force (STF), Lt. Col. Kingsley Umoh, stated that the attackers were suspected herdsmen from neighboring communities of Kaduna State.
According to Umoh, STF received a distress call which they responded to, and engaged in a fire fight with the attackers. One of the attackers received gunshot wounds and six were arrested. Those arrested have since been handed over to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the state police command for further investigations.
This latest violence came on the heels of a March 7 jihad attack against Christians in Jos in which over 500 mainly women and children were murdered. It is estimated that many more thousands of Christians have been killed in northern Nigeria since the introduction of Sharia law in 2001.
Jonathan Racho, ICC’s Regional Manager for Africa, said “We are outraged by the latest killings of Christians in northern Nigeria. Once again, Nigerian officials have failed to provide needed security for the citizens of Kaduna and Plateau States. We urge Nigerian authorities to quickly bring all the perpetrators of the attacks to justice and fully investigate the lapse in security.”