Jos, 10 April, 2023 / 9:20 pm (ACI Africa).
At least 94 people reportedly have died in a series of deadly attacks on Christian communities throughout Holy Week in Benue state in north-central Nigeria, an ominous sign of escalating violence blamed on Muslim militias in the country’s Middle Belt region.
On April 2, armed men reportedly stormed a Palm Sunday service at a Pentecostal church in Akenawe-Tswarev in Logo county, Benue state, killing a young boy and kidnapping the pastor and other worshipers.
Three days later, on April 5, gunmen killed at least 50 people in the village of Umogidi, located in Utokpo county, a Catholic stronghold in western Benue, the Associated Press reported.
More recently, on the night of Good Friday, dozens were killed when Muslim gunmen raided an elementary school building in the village of Ngban that serves as a shelter for about 100 displaced Christian farmers and their families.
The April 7 attack left 43 people dead and more than 40 injured, according to Father Remigius Ihyula, who heads the Benue branch of the Justice, Development, and Peace Commission (JDPC), a Nigerian Catholic relief organization.