AP

Two Nigeria churches attacked; worshippers killed, abducted

Jun 19, 2022, 1:07 AM | Updated: 1:14 pm

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — Gunmen attacked two churches in rural northwestern Nigeria on Sunday, killing three people, witnesses and a state official said, weeks after a similar attack in the West African nation left 40 worshippers dead.

The attack in Kajuru area of Kaduna State targeted four villages, resulting in the abduction of unspecified number of residents and the destruction of houses before the assailants managed to escape, locals said.

It wasn’t immediately clear who was behind the attack on the Kaduna churches. Much of Nigeria has struggled with security issues, with Kaduna as one of the worst-hit states. At least 32 people were killed in the Kajuru area last week in an attack that lasted for hours across four villages.

Worshippers were attending the church service at the Maranatha Baptist Church and at St. Moses Catholic Church in Rubu community of Kaduna on Sunday morning when “they (the assailants) just came and surrounded the churches” both located in the same area, said Usman Danladi, who lives nearby.

“Before they (worshippers) noticed, they were already terrorizing them; some began attacking inside the church then others proceeded to other areas,” Danladi said. He added that “most of the victims kidnapped are from the Baptist (church) while the three killed were Catholics.”

The Kaduna state government confirmed the three deaths by bandits who “stormed the villages on motorcycles, beginning from Ungwan Fada, and moving into Ungwan Turawa, before Ungwan Makama and then Rubu.” Security patrols are being conducted in the general area” as investigations proceed, according to Samuel Aruwan, Kaduna commissioner for security.

The Christian Association of Nigeria condemned Sunday’s attacks and said churches in Nigeria have become “targets” of armed groups.

“It is very unfortunate that when we are yet to come out of the mourning of those killed in Owo two Sundays ago, another one has happened in Kaduna,” Pastor Adebayo Oladeji, the association’s spokesman, told The Associated Press. “It has become a recurring decimal.”

Many of the attacks targeting rural areas in Nigeria’s troubled northern region are similar. The motorcycle-riding gunmen often arrive in hundreds in areas where Nigeria’s security forces are outnumbered and outgunned. It usually takes months for the police to make arrests and authorities have identified the attackers as mostly young herdsmen from the Fulani tribe caught up in Nigeria’s pastoral conflict between host communities and herdsmen over limited access to water and land.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

jerry west...

Tim Reynolds, The Associated Press

Jerry West, a 3-time Hall of Fame selection and the NBA logo, dies at 86

Jerry West, a three-time Basketball Hall of Fame inductee whose silhouette is considered to be the basis of the NBA logo, died Wednesday morning.

1 day ago

Photo: Construction vehicles are parked outside of the Station U & O building on Tuesday, June 11, ...

Haleluya Hadero, The Associated Press

Amazon adds $1.4B to affordable housing fund for regions where it has corporate offices

Amazon is adding $1.4B to a fund for building more affordable housing in regions where the company has major corporate offices.

2 days ago

hunter biden...

Randall Chase and the Associated Press

Hunter Biden convicted of all 3 felony charges in federal gun trial

Hunter Biden has been convicted of all three felony charges related to the purchase of a revolver in 2018, but no sentencing date was set.

2 days ago

Photo: A Bremerton man who made 20 "swatting" calls around the U.S. and in Canada, prompting real e...

Associated Press

Bremerton man sentenced for 20 ‘swatting’ calls of false threats in US, Canada

A Bremerton man who made 20 "swatting" calls around the U.S. and in Canada, prompting real emergency responses, has been sentenced.

3 days ago

Image: U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, left, speaks with Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zele...

Associated Press

Ukraine uses US weapons to strike inside Russia, a Western official tells AP

Ukraine has used U.S weapons to strike inside Russia in recent days, according to a Western official familiar with the matter told the AP.

8 days ago

boeing nasa...

Marcia Dunn, The Associated Press

Boeing launches NASA astronauts for the first time after years of delays

Boeing launched astronauts for the first time Wednesday, belatedly joining SpaceX as a second taxi service for NASA.

8 days ago

Two Nigeria churches attacked; worshippers killed, abducted