A number of Christians — anywhere from five to 30 — were reportedly killed by suspected radical Fulani herdsmen during social unrest stemming from the murder of a Christian man last Sunday, local sources report.
According to The Daily Post, police have confirmed that at least five victims were killed in the societal violence that took place in the local government area of Jos in the Plateau state on May 26.
However, the head of a local Christian association has put the death toll of Christians from last Sunday’s violence at about 30.
Authorities reported that at least 12 homes were burned in the violence as Christian and Muslim herdsmen communities clashed after local Christians took to the streets to protest the death of Enoch Monday.
State police told media that Monday’s body was found around the Tina Junction in Jos.
“On [May 26] at about 11:30 [a.m.], the Plateau State Police Command received a report from one Sarki Arum of Tina Area of Jos North Local Government Area of Plateau State that one Enoch Monday of Tina was seen lying motionless at an area between Dutse Uku and Angwan Damisa in Jos North Local Government,” the statement from Public Relations Officer DSP Tyopev Matthias Terna reads.
“The Command immediately mobilized to the area and removed the body to Plateau Specialist Hospital where he was confirmed dead by the doctor on duty and corpse deposited at the mortuary of the same hospital.”
According to police, local youths in the area gathered to protest following Monday’s death.
“This has always been the trend in the area. Once anyone crosses over to the other side, his or her safety was never guaranteed,” a local source told The Daily Post. “These are Christian and Muslim communities that share boundaries. However, gunshots began renting the air from all sides with people running helter-skelter, including those coming back from Church.”
Officers were sent to the impacted areas to help restore peace.
A local Christian man named Peter Sarki assured to the U.S.-based persecution outlet Morning Star News that at least seven Christians were killed and more than 12 others were injured in the violence.
Rev. Luke Shehu, head of the Arewa Christians and Indigenous Pastors Association, said in a statement that at least 30 people were killed and 20 homes were burnt in less than 12 hours by “Muslim militia.”
According to The Punch, Shehu said that some of the perpetrators were “in military uniforms.” He added that all the areas impacted by the violence border Muslim communities.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith