(ReliableNews.org) – Christmas is supposed to be a sacred time for Christians across the world. That wasn’t the case this year in Christian-majority neighborhoods in Nigeria. Instead of celebrations, their communities were struck by terror.
Officials in Central Nigeria announced that at least 160 people died in a Christmas weekend massacre, 300 more were injured. According to reports, groups of assailants targeted 17 communities in Bokkos, Plateau State, a largely Christian area. Plateau Governor Caleb Mutfwang said the attacks began on Saturday but continued into Christmas Day.
Mutfwang revealed the attackers burned down most of the homes in the communities. He called the massacre “senseless and unprovoked.” The attackers used guns in the attacks in addition to the fires.
The area that was attacked is considered the dividing line between the country’s Christian south and Muslim north. Tensions between the two regions have simmered for decades but have resulted in a tremendous amount of violence in recent years.
Markus Amorudu, one of the residents of a village that was targeted, told reporters that people were sleeping when the attacks began. They were awoken by gunfire and “were scared because [they] weren’t expecting an attack.” He said some people hid, but the assailants captured and shot many of them.
Gyang Bere, a spokesperson for the Mutfwang, told the press that the government is going to take “proactive measures” to try to “curb ongoing attacks against innocent civilians.”
Amnesty International Nigeria released a statement calling on President Bola Tinubu to investigate the attacks. The organization said the massacre was a “brazen failure of the authorities to protect” people in the country. It went on to say that attacks have become normal in the country, and although the president has promised to implement security measures to stop them in the past, he has done nothing to address the problem so far.
The organization demanded the Nigerian government take action to bring the suspects to justice.
Copyright 2023, ReliableNews.org