Soldiers Kill Six Christians at Church in Kaduna State, Nigeria, Witnesses Say
ICC Note: According to witness reports, Nigerian soldiers killed five members of St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Kaduna State, Nigeria and a Christian from another church on March 8, 2015. Watchmen of the church had established a blockade for security measures to protect the churchgoers during Mass. When they refused to dismantle the blockade, a group of soldiers then stormed the church shooting at the worshippers inside.
03/10/2015 Nigeria (Morning Star News) – Upset that watchmen of a Catholic Church in Kaduna state on Sunday (March 8th) set up a road block as a security measure, Nigerian soldiers killed five church members, eyewitnesses said.
Shortly after opening fire on St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Gidan-Waya, the soldiers shot and killed a Christian from another church as he returned to his home near the site in the Jama’a Local Government Area of southern Kaduna, they said. In the clash that ensued between soldiers and area residents, a soldier was reportedly killed and several people were injured.
Worshippers were celebrating Mass at about 10 a.m. when a soldier ordered the watchmen, church members known as Cadets, to remove the road blocks, parish member Christopher Mamman told Morning Star News by phone.
“A soldier approached our Cadets who had mounted a blockade during Sunday morning Mass on the road leading to our parish and ordered them to dismantle the blockade,” Mamman said. “The Cadets told the soldier that Mass was going on, and they would remove the blockade as soon as it was over, but the soldier was dissatisfied with the explanation.”
The soldier returned 10 minutes later with other soldiers from a check-point on the Jos-Abuja highway, he said.
“They stormed the parish, shooting at worshipers inside the church,” Mamman said. “Five of our members were shot and killed, while many others were injured. One other Christian from another church was also killed when the incident escalated and engulfed the town.”
Sources reported one Cadet died in a hospital and four other non-Cadet church members were killed.
Bulus Jatau, another member of the church, confirmed the shooting death of the five members of St. Peter’s and the ensuing shooting of the other Christian.