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Attack on Catholics of a Nigerian diocese leaves 11 people dead

Some victims of the attack at the hospital in Agan and Makurdi, Benue State Nigeria. (Credit: ACI Africa News)

An attack by alleged Fulani herdsmen killed 11 people, in a village around Abagena camp of internally displaced persons (IDP) in Nigeria’s Makurdi Diocese on January 19.

According to Father Moses Aondover Iorapuu, "majority of the victims were Catholics, and the attackers were Fulanis who occupied some of the villages they had abandoned after earlier attacks.”

“As of this evening 11 people were killed, including women and children, and many with life-threatening wounds in the hospital,” said the priest.

Father Aondover said, "I saw the inhabitants of the village being forced from their homes by these herdsmen on January 19 during the attack."

He added, “the images of the attack are horrifying, and I believe that not even ISIS could perpetrate such brutality.”

He stated that after killing, “these guys beheaded some and took the parts away as proof to whoever is the sponsor.”

According to Father Aondover, "police and military response is always late arrival at the scene and attackers remain unidentified." He lamented that "the incessant violence has not resulted in a single arrest or action from the government.”

Boko Haram began its insurgency in Nigeria in 2009 with the aim of turning the country into an Islamic state.

In recent years, the group, one of the largest Islamic groups in Africa, has carried out indiscriminate terrorist attacks on civilians and religious and political groups.

Christians and Fulani herdsmen have frequently clashed over grazing lands in the West African nation, further complicating the situation.

Father Aondover stated, "We feel tremendously disappointed and abandoned by our government and the international community," in an interview with ACI Africa.


Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.”  Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.