More than 160 Christians were killed and 500 wounded in Nigeria on Christmas Day as radical Islamic terrorists struck in several predominantly Christian villages — killing men, women, and children.
The attacks began on Saturday night and continued sporadically through Christmas Day, according to the Christian Post.
The terrorists also destroyed hundreds of people’s homes during the attacks, leaving hundreds homeless in the counties of Barkin Ladi, Bokkos and Mangu, which are located in the central Nigerian Plateau State.
The African villages attacked were reportedly NTV, Maiyanga, Ruku, Hurum, Darwat, Dares, Chirang, Ruwi, Yelwa, Ndun, Ngyong, Murfet, Makundary, Tamiso, Chiang, Tahore, Gawarba, Dares, Meyenga, Darwat and Butura Kampani.
“Some pastors were killed, and another pastor and his wife and five children were killed during these attacks,” Bokkos County resident Dawzino Mallau told the Morning Star News.
“These terrorists who attacked these Christian communities were in the hundreds, and they carried out the attacks as the hapless Christians were preparing for Christmas programs lined up by their pastors,” Mallau added.
The largest number of those murdered were women, children, and the elderly — all who could not run fast enough to get away.
“About 160 Christians in these villages were killed by the terrorists,” Bokkos resident Alfred Mashat said. “We believe they are carrying out these attacks alongside armed Muslim Fulani herdsmen.”
Many residents called Nigerian security services, but officers did not arrive for more than 12 hours after the attacks ended, ABC News reported.
“I called security, but they never came. The ambush started six in the evening, but security reached our place by seven in the morning,” said Sunday Dawum, a youth leader in Bokkos. Dawum’s own brother lost his life in the attack on Mbom Mbaru village.
“We had just finished our evening devotion when we heard gunshots,” Rev. Danjuma Mandik told Truth Nigeria.
Plateau Gov. Caleb Mutfwang railed against the attacks.
“This is unacceptable. Enough is enough. These stupid, senseless and unprovoked acts must stop,” Mutfwang said, according to Morning Star News, before vowing to “strengthen security agencies in the efforts in tackling insecurity in the state.”
Muslim gangs estimated to number in the tens of thousands, reportedly buttressed by mercenaries from the countries of Chad and Niger, have been terrorizing northern Nigeria for years, but their attacks have been rolling increasingly south into central Nigeria, reports said.
“Nigeria led the world in Christians killed for their faith in 2022, with 5,014, according to Open Doors’ 2023 World Watch List (WWL) report,” according to the Christian Post.
The Nigerian army is claiming to be planning “clearance operations” in the area to chase down those who slaughtered the Christians, but such exercises have rarely been effective, and few perpetrators are ever detained, ABC reported.
Amnesty International’s Nigeria director Isa Sanusi blasted the government, adding, “Sometimes they claim to make arrests, but there is no proof they have done so. The brazen failure of the authorities to protect the people of Nigeria is gradually becoming the norm.”
Nigerian President Bola Tinubu, who was elected this year promising to end the violence, ordered the “immediate mobilization of relief resources” for the survivors.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.