ABUJA, Nigeria ( Associated Press) – Weeks after the massacre of 40 worshipers in a similar incident in this country off West Africa, gunmen attacked two churches in rural north-western Nigeria on Sunday, killing three people, witnesses and a local official said.
Four villages in Kajuru area of Kaduna state have been affected by the attack. Locals said unidentified people were abducted and several houses were destroyed. The attackers fled.
It is not clear at this time who is responsible for the attack on churches in Kaduna. There are security problems in much of Nigeria, and Kaduna is one of the most affected states. Last week, at least 32 people were killed in an hour-long attack in four villages in the Kazaru area.
Osman Danladi, who lives nearby, said parishioners who were attending church services at Maranath Baptist Church and St. Moses Catholic Church in Kaduna’s Rubu community on Sunday morning, “they (the attackers) came and surrounded the churches.”
“Before the (faithful) knew it, they were already terrorizing them; Some (aggressors) started attacking inside the church and then others went elsewhere,” Danladi said. He added that “the majority of the abducted victims are from Baptists (churches) and the three killed were Catholics.”
The Kaduna state government confirmed three murders by bandits who “entered villages on motorcycles; they started with Ungwan Phada, followed by Ungwan Turawa, and then Ungwan Makama and Rubu.
Kaduna Security Commissioner Samuel Aruwan said, “As per the investigation, normal security patrolling is being carried out in the area.”
The Christian Union of Nigeria condemned the attacks on Sunday and condemned that the country’s churches have become “targets” of armed groups.
Pastor Adebayo Oladezi, a spokesman for the association, told The Associated: “It is very unfortunate that at a time when we have not left mourning for those killed in Owo two Sundays ago, another one has been presented to us in Kaduna.” press. “It’s become a recurring problem.”
Many of the attacks are similar in rural areas of Nigeria’s troubled northern region. Armed men on motorcycles often arrive in the hundreds in areas where they outnumber the country’s security forces.
It usually takes months for the police to make an arrest. Officials have recognized that most of the attackers are young shepherds from the Fulani tribe who are embroiled in conflict between communities and herders over limited access to water and land.