44 killed in fresh Benue, Nasarawa attacks

Gunmen break into Benue church kill two priests

The victims had gone to morning mass at St Ignatius Quasi Parish when their attackers who had laid ambush on the community attacked them around 5.30 am and killed them.

The armed men later surrounded the church and killed all the early callers in the church.

An attack by suspected herdsmen on three Benue communities have reportedly led to the deaths of about 37 persons while several others have been injured and some still missing.

"This is most capable of causing a religious war, " he said.

Catholic authorities confirmed that two priests - Rev. Fathers Joseph Gor and Felix Tyolaha - were killed in the violence, which they blamed on herders.

President Muhammadu Buhari condemned the killings.

National President of MACBAN, Alhaji Mohammadu Kiruwa made the disclosure during a stakeholders meeting between the farmers and herdsmen held at the instance of the Edo State Police Command to foster peace in the various communities in the state.

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In a statement confirming the deaths, Rev Father Moses Iorapuu, the director of communications of Makurdi Diocese, said the local population was "asking why the worldwide community has remained silent over the massacre of Benue citizens" and described the targeting of the priests as amounting to the "total destruction of everything we stand for and believe in, as a people".

"Many people are asking why the global community has remained silent over the massacre of Benue citizens?"

"Violating a place of worship, killing priests and worshippers is not only vile, evil and satanic, it is clearly calculated to stoke up religious conflict and plunge our communities into endless bloodletting".

"We are under siege", said acting governor of Benue state Benson Abounu.

Central Nigeria is in a situation of crisis because the residents, of Christian and animist confession, reject the presence of the Fulani ranchers, followers of the Muslim doctrine.

"We have been attacked from all corners and this is unacceptable", he added. We have said it before and we are saying it again that Nigerians must be on the guard.

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