Home Christian News Nearly 200 Nigerians Killed in Christmas Eve Massacre

Nearly 200 Nigerians Killed in Christmas Eve Massacre

Photo courtesy of ICC.

Nigeria (International Christian Concern) – Suspected Nigerian Fulani militias attacked 21 Christian villages in the Bokkos,  Barkin Ladi, and Mangu counties of Plateau State on Christmas Eve, killing nearly 200 villagers according to government officials and humanitarian groups. The number of dead is expected to rise as families continue to search for missing loved ones. 

On Thursday, Plateau State Commissioner of Information and Communication Hon. Musa Ashoms reported 195 people killed during the Christmas Eve attacks, and villagers were still missing. He told communities to defend themselves and take up arms as needed.  

Amnesty International Nigeria reported 194 people killed in Plateau State including 148 in Bokkos, 27 in Barkin Ladi, and 19 in Mangu. The Nigerian Red Cross reported 161 deaths and 32,604 people affected. The attack touched 84 communities in Bokkos and Barkin Ladi and left 29,350 people displaced. In addition, 301 people were injured and 27 houses burned. 

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Witnesses said that scant security was present to repel the attacks that lasted more than seven hours. 

“More dead bodies were found in the bush today,” said Timothy, a local from Mbar village in Bokkos County. “Yes, my village was attacked on Christmas Eve, and other villages close to my community. Many houses were burnt including my church. I can’t say how many people were killed but we found more dead bodies today and we are looking for missing ones.” 

Naomi, a resident of Mayong, lost four family members in the attack and fled to an IDP (Internally Displaced Persons) camp. “My house was burnt, and I mourned on Christmas day,” she said. 

Ezekiel Peter Bini Condole, president of the Irigwe Youth Development Association covering Bokkos, Barkin Ladi, and Mangu called on Nigeria President Bola Tinubu to do more to protect Christians. He said that Christians in Plateau State should be compensated by the government for their losses. Condole added that there are threats of more attacks to wipe out Christians, and he called on U.S. President Joe Biden to pressure Nigeria’s leaders to stop the killings. 

Nigeria is one of the most dangerous places for Christians, particularly in the Middle Belt region. International Christian Concern (ICC) listed Nigeria in its annual Persecutors of the Year report the last three years. More than 50,000 Christians have been killed in the Middle Belt region over the past 20 years, and millions have been displaced. 

This article originally appeared here.