Over twenty villagers were killed in a night raid in Nigeria
Despite warnings of an attack earlier in the week and the presence of security guards, 21 villagers were killed by suspected radical Fulani militants in north-central Nigeria on Thursday night.
Witnesses say gunmen slipped into the Heipang community village and opened fire between 1:30 and 3:30 a.m. Most of the victims were internally displaced persons (IDP) who had fled earlier violence. Heipang is in the Barkin-Ladi Local Government Area in Plateau State.
“This is the third armed attack on the community which has enjoyed relative peace for years,” said one community leader.
The Heipang community has lost more than 100 villagers in attacks over the past two decades, with no arrests. Villagers in Heipang and Mangu blame radicalized Fulani militants and herders for causing the attacks on the mostly Christian farming communities.
They say the government is complicit and unable to prevent the attacks – a common thread in Nigeria’s Middle Belt region that has been rocked by violence with tens of thousands of Christians killed over the past 20 years.