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At least 19 dead after gunmen open fire at a Nigerian church

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Gunmen open fire at a church in Nigeria, killing at least 19. The incident, unfolded on Tuesday, April 24 when gunmen launched an attack on congregants in a Catholic church in Nigeria’s Middle Belt. Police confirmed that the armed men assaulted the church in Benue state. The attackers stormed the church when morning mass was in progress

Christian persecution in Africa

In line details, the dead include 2 priests and 17 worshipers. In this regard the state police spokesman told CNN that the attackers also torched many homes. He said that the attackers are believed to be Fulani herdsmen. “The herdsmen burnt nearly 50 houses during the attack and sacked the entire community. We expect arrests to be made because they (attackers) are becoming more brazen,” he detailed.

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Followed by this recent attack, Benue Valley Professional Network voiced deep concerns over the recent wave of killings calling for an “end to senseless slaughter of unarmed defenseless people” in Nigeria. “We call on all humane persons and groups around the world to come to the aid of our farming and worship communities and end these terror attacks across Nigeria and especially in Benue, our food basket, which also threatens our collective food security,” the Benue Valley Professional Network said in a statement.

A few days before, armed men killed 10 people. Fulani herdsmen attack farmers who are predominantly Christians. The herdsmen attack and evict farmers in Nigeria’s Middle Belt. In January, clashes between herdsmen and farmers left 72 people dead.

The deceased priests were identified as Father Joseph Gor and Father Felix Tyolaha. Christians were gathered at the church for morning mass around 5:30 am, the herdsmen launched an attack on the believers. The attackers surrounded the church and opened fire on the early callers in the church. They also burnt down more than 100 houses.