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09/13/2022 Nigeria (International Christian Concern) – On Sunday, September 11, unidentified gunmen attacked the convoy of a Nigerian senator who was traveling through Anambra state, located in the south of the country. 

Senator Ifeanyi Ubrah was traveling in a group of vehicles accompanied by several police officers when the attackers opened fire.  According to Tochukwu Ikenga, a spokesperson for the Anambra police department, the fatalities are two policemen and three civilians, including two of Senator Ubrah’s aides.    

Nigeria has dealt with significant internal violence for years, mostly at the hands of the Boko Haram terrorist group and radicalized Islamic Fulani herdsmen. Tens of thousands have been killed or abducted by these two groups, and hundreds of thousands have been internally displaced. Christians in Nigeria are especially vulnerable to this violence, which is largely religiously motivated, and have suffered greatly over the last few years as the level of jihadism has risen in Nigeria.

1,900 civilians and government employees were killed by Boko Haram and Fulani militants in 2020 alone, according to an ICC analysis of the situation. Much of the violence is concentrated in Christian-majority areas of the Middle Belt region. However, as is demonstrated by this most recent attack in Anambra state, the violence has trickled south, causing alarm for Nigeria and the international community.

ICC’s analysis shows that the majority of civilian and government deaths in 2020 happened at the hands of Fulani militants rather than Boko Haram terrorists or bandits. Despite this fact, the government of Nigeria continues to largely ignore the Fulani crisis in favor of the more easily-defined terrorist threat posed by Boko Haram and the simpler criminal threat posed by vaguely-defined bandits.

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