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Less than a week after Muslim Fulani herdsmen kidnapped six teenage girls from a Christian-run high school in north-central Nigeria, another attack in the same county led to the killing of a Baptist woman and the kidnapping of four others from the same church, sources said.
Morning Star News reports that Muslim Fulani herdsmen killed Ezra Haruna, a member of Godiya Baptist Church in Ungwan Barau village, in an attack on the village near Udawa in Chikun County, Kaduna state, at 4 a.m. on Monday (Oct. 7), a church member told Morning Star News.
Four other church members, including Jummai Ido, the church pastor’s wife, were kidnapped in the attack, said Godiya Baptist Church member Joseph Umarau.
“Three others kidnapped also during the invasion are Luka Auta, Sale Auta [brothers] and Yakubu Audu,” Umaru told Morning Star News.
He said the armed herdsmen stormed the community and shot indiscriminately into houses, forcing residents to flee into bushes surrounding the village.
On Oct. 3 Muslim Fulani herdsmen kidnapped six Christian female students and two teachers from Engravers’ College, a Christian-run high school in Kakau village, also in Chikun County. The eight remain in captivity.
Kaduna Gov. Nasir el-Rufai told media on Friday (Oct. 4) that “bandits,” the term used by officials and Nigerian media reluctant to connect the kidnappings to their fellow tribal Fulani, are working alongside elements of Islamic extremist group Boko Haram.
“We have been receiving intelligence some three months ago that the bandits have connected with some elements of Boko Haram, and they will be targeting schools to kidnap children because they know that that is what makes the news,” El-Rufai said.
Kakau village lies in the kidnapping belt of the state and is on the route to Kwanti village, where Morning Star News last year reported the displacement of many Christians due to kidnappings by armed Fulani Herdsmen, according to area residents.
Nigeria ranked 12th on Open Doors’ 2019 World Watch List of countries where Christians suffer the most persecution.