Muslims slaughter 13 Christians, displace hundreds in Nigeria

Muslim Fulani herdsmen have slaughtered at least 13 Christians and displaced hundreds of church members during an attack on a cluster of villages in Kaduna state, according to local sources.

In an interview with Morning Star News, a survivor named Martha Yohanna said the attacks on the villages of Ninte and Gada Biyu happened from Aug. 1 to 3. The woman, who is a member of the Alheri Baptist Church, is one of the hundreds of Christians who were displaced from the area.

(Reuters/Luc Gnago)Lamido Souley Mani Orthe (L), a Fulani chief, stands with his bodyguard at his home in Diffa in southeastern Niger, June 21, 2016.

"On Aug. 1 at about noon in Ninte, the Fulani herdsmen attacked two Christian women and a man while they were on their farm," Yohanna told Morning Star. "They cut them with machetes. A woman and her daughter-in-law were killed by the Fulani herdsmen while the man is still in the hospital as I talk with you."

Yohanna said the Fulani herdsmen killed two Christian women in Ninte, and eight others were killed in Gada Biyu the following day. On Aug. 3, security forces drove the Muslim assailants away from the area, but they returned to Gada Biyu that evening to burn down the houses for three hours, she added.

Aside from Yohanna's congregation, the members of the Sabon Rai Baptist Church and Evangelical Church Winning All were also displaced by the attack.

This is the fourth time that Muslim Fulani herdsmen have attacked Christian communities in the Kaduna state this year, the sources said. On Tuesday, officials told Morning Star not to go to Gada Biyu because the environment there is still unsafe.

Meanwhile, the Enugu state has also experienced several attacks from the Fulani herdsmen. A community leader has denounced the increasing rate of divorce in the area which are usually prompted by the rape of the women by suspected herdsmen, Naij.com reports.

In a statement delivered before a commission of inquiry, Eke town union president-general Anthony Enu decried the incidents of rape. He said no man would take in a woman who had already been touched by suspected Fulani herdsmen, especially because the attackers have allegedly infected their women and daughters with "serious diseases."