Guest / Limited Access /

Reports estimate that between 67 and 300 are dead after Christian ethnic Taroks attacked Muslim cattle-herders in the town of Yelwa in central Nigeria's Plateau State. The Tarok ethnic group used machine guns mounted on jeeps, along with rifles and machetes, to attack the Muslim community. Possibly three mosques were damaged and at least 67 people have been buried, while hundreds more have fled or disappeared. Just last week, the Christian Tarok were attacked by the Muslim Hausa in the region.

In the most recent attack, the Associated Press reports that more that 100 were killed and 1,000 homes destroyed. "It will take time to account for the exact number of dead and missing. It's mass murder, because machine guns were used, not machetes," Justice Abdulkadir Orire, secretary general of the Jama'atu Nasril Islam, told Agence France-Presse.

Orire told Reuters that the attack had been planned and received the help of local officials. "Police stationed in Yelwa had been withdrawn four days before the attack, despite complaints from local Muslims that they were surrounded by Taroks and tensions were rising." Orire said. "It seems the governor is supporting the move. We heard that the government said non-indigenes should move out of the area. That is very bad. He should look after everyone in the state and not just his own tribe."

President Olusegun Obasanjo sent as many as 600 riot police to the area to prevent more attacks. According to Reuters, "Yelwa has already witnessed one of the most horrific massacres of the conflict, when 48 Christians were killed by Fulani militia in a church that was later burned in February.

"The last three months have seen the bloodiest fighting in the region since the state capital, Jos, was torn apart ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Read These NextSee Our Latest
Current IssueNew & Noteworthy Books
Subscriber Access Only
New & Noteworthy Books
Compiled by Matt Reynolds
RecommendedThe Real History of the Crusades
Subscriber Access Only
The Real History of the Crusades
A series of holy wars against Islam led by power-mad popes and fought by religious fanatics? Think again.
TrendingWhy Most Pastors Aren’t Answering Your Phone Calls
Why Most Pastors Aren’t Answering Your Phone Calls
It's one the great mysteries of ministry. Why do pastors have such a bad reputation for answering or returning phone calls? Here are 9 reasons.
Editor's PickThe Good (and Bad) News About Christian Higher Education
The Good (and Bad) News About Christian Higher Education
‘Christian colleges are as strong as they’ve been since the 1920s,’ says historian William Ringenberg. But there are challenges on the horizon.
Christianity Today
Nigerian Christians Attack Muslims, Kill Dozens
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

May 2004

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.