Head of Nigerian Christian village among three killed by Islamist gunmen in Plateau State

26 October 2022

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Islamist gunmen attacked a Christian-majority community in Plateau State, Nigeria on 17 October, killing three people including the head of the village, Salisu Idris.

The gang rode into Nyalun, in Wase Local Government Area, on motorcycles at around 9.30pm and started shooting.

“They went straight to the traditional ruler’s house, killed him and abducted five members of his family,” said a local youth leader. “They also killed two other people.”

The homes of Christians in Wang village were set on fire during an attack by Fulani militants [Image credit: Christian Solidarity International] 

A Barnabas contact said Islamist attackers often seek out and kill the heads of Christian communities in order to create terror. “They want to destroy the administrative set up and cause chaos,” he added.

Twelve Christians were killed earlier in October in attacks on Christian-majority farming communities in the Bokkos Local Government Area of Plateau State.

Witnesses said Islamist Fulani militants launched assaults on the communities of Shorom, Wang and Kulyas on 8 and 9 October, murdering five villagers, including two town leaders. More than 50 houses were razed.

Between 1 and 7 October seven farmers were killed in separate attacks. In another incident, three pastors were ambushed – one of them suffering critical injuries.

Locals say the Fulani militants are targeting Christian farmers to take over their lands.

“This is another attempt by these wicked groups to set the state ablaze,” said Solomon Maren, the area representative in the House of Representatives.

Regional youth leader Marshall Sule added, “What we are seeing is a possible repeat of what has happened to our neighbours in Riyom and Barkin Ladi Local Government Areas where many Christian farming villages were seized after the owners were killed and displaced.

“Many of those seized villages have now been turned to no-go areas for Christians.”

From Barnabas Aid contacts and other sources

Ask the Lord to comfort all those who mourn loved ones killed in these attacks. Pray for His protection over Christian communities in Plateau State. Ask for guidance for the authorities that an end can be found to the relentless violence.

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