A 3-year-old girl and nine others died in an early morning attack on a Christian village in Kaduna State, carried out by armed Muslim herdsmen of Fulani origin.
The girl, identified as Elizabeth Samaila suffered multiple machete cuts to the head during the attack on the Tudun Agwalla community in Kajuru Local Government Area (LGA), which occurred at around 5.00am, on Wednesday. She died in hospital on Thursday, 4 June, the day after the attack, the U.K.-based Christian Solidarity Worldwide reported.
Ms Samaila is the tenth victim of the attack; the other nine include Richard Yusuf, Kefas Yusuf, Fidelis Wada, Kachia, Genesis Soja and Rahab Soja, all of whom were hacked to death with machetes, and were buried in a mass grave later that day. An unknown number were also injured in the attack, including 8-year-old Rita Friday, who received a head injury, and seven people remain unaccounted for.
“What is particularly unacceptable is that her death is the latest to occur in a series of attacks which continue unabated,” CSW’s Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas said. “Southern Kaduna is steadily being transformed into killing fields, either due to a gross failure of governance, or official indifference and acquiescence.”
Fulani herders routinely brutally attack predominantly Christian farming communities in Nigeria’s Middle Belt. While some believe the nomadic herders launch attacks as they look for grazing pastures, the radicals target Christian villages in a similar manner as the Boko Haram terror group that terrorizes the northern regions of the country.
In another attack on Thursday, five boys of the same parents in Gonin Gora area of Chikun local government area of Kaduna state were abducted.
The siblings, all boys between the ages of eight and 18 years, were abducted while they were sleeping in their home on Thursday night.
Nigeria ranks as the 12th worst country in the world on Open Doors USA’s 2020 World Watch List of countries where Christians are most severely persecuted. Nigeria was added to the U.S. State Department’s special watch list of countries that tolerate or engage in severe violations of religious freedom in December.