Islamic extremists kill 15, cut off woman's breast in attack on predominantly Christian village

Christians hold signs as they march on the streets of Abuja during a prayer and penance for peace and security in Nigeria in Abuja on March 1, 2020.
Christians hold signs as they march on the streets of Abuja during a prayer and penance for peace and security in Nigeria in Abuja on March 1, 2020. | AFP via Getty Images/KOLA SULAIMON

ABUJA, Nigeria — Suspected Fulani herdsmen and other terrorists killed two Christians in north-central Nigeria on Friday after slaughtering 13 others in two prior attacks, sources said.

The assailants attacked Gidan Ityotyev village, Obi County, at about 11 p.m., killing Moses Saaku and Aondofa Saaku and wounding a Christian woman, all members of the Universal Reformed Christian Church (NKST in Nigeria), said local community leader Ukpuu Abaa in a text message to Morning Star News.

“A Christian woman by the name of Kwaghdoo Saaku was injured when the herdsmen cut off one of her breasts,” Abaa said. “The herdsmen during the invasion of our village shot randomly at our people who were sleeping in their houses.”

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In Keana County’s predominantly Christian village of Gidan Sule on the night of Oct. 8, the terrorists killed 10 Christians, displacing hundreds of others, said Peter Ahemba, president of the Tiv Development Association. Most of the slain Christians were women, children and the elderly who were unable to escape the onslaught, he said in a text message.

“Ten corpses of Christians killed during the attack on Gidan Sule community were recovered on the morning of Sunday, Oct. 9, by survivors in the community,” Ahemba said. “The attackers, who we strongly believe are herdsmen and terrorists, shot sporadically on Christians who were sleeping in their houses.”

Ahemba reportedly said the assailants were likely mobilized also to displace ethnic Tiv Christians ahead of general elections in Nigeria in February.

The slaughter followed a similar assault the previous week in Antsa village, in Kwara District of Keana County, where three Christians were killed, he said.

Nigeria led the world in Christians killed for their faith last year (Oct. 1, 2020, to Sept. 30, 2021,) at 4,650, up from 3,530 the previous year, according to Open Doors’ 2022 World Watch List report. The number of kidnapped Christians was also highest in Nigeria, at more than 2,500, up from 990 the previous year, according to the WWL report.

Nigeria trailed only China in the number of churches attacked, with 470 cases, according to the report.

In the 2022 World Watch List of the countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian, Nigeria jumped to seventh place, its highest ranking ever, from No. 9 the previous year.

Morning Star News is the only independent news service focusing exclusively on the persecution of Christians. The nonprofit's mission is to provide complete, reliable, even-handed news in order to empower those in the free world to help persecuted Christians, and to encourage persecuted Christians by informing them that they are not alone in their suffering.

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