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“Nigeria bishop: Pre-Christmas massacre part of ‘a deliberate plan to unleash evil’ against Christians,” by Douglas Burton, CNA, December 22, 2022:
A Nigerian bishop has denounced “a deliberate plan to unleash evil” on Christian villagers following reports that dozens of people were killed in a violent attack Dec. 18 in Kaduna State.
“The motivation for these attacks as far as we know is that it’s a deliberate plan to unleash evil and to terrify our people because we do not profess the same religion or because we oppose their violent activities on our land,” Bishop Yakubu Kundi wrote in a text to CNA.
Kundi is the spiritual leader of the embattled Catholic Diocese of Kafanchan in southern Kaduna. The nighttime attack last week took place in and around the town of Mallagum.
Witnesses say a group of approximately 100 armed men dressed in army fatigues or black tunics arrived in Mallagum on motorcycles and trucks.
“At first we thought the military driving up and down the main street had come into town to provide security, since an attack had been rumored for days,” Emmanuel Allau Dominic, an eyewitness, told CNA in a text message.
Believing help had arrived, many residents surged toward the men, who opened fire, he said.
“Those running helter-skelter for help saw them and ran towards them, and that was the end of their journey on earth,” Dominic said. Media reports say as many as 46 people were killed in four villages over three days.
Thousands of other residents have been displaced from their homes because of the violence. While these people have received emergency supplies from the government, such as soup cubes and rice, those rations cannot last for very long, said Father Justin Dyikuk, a Catholic journalist from Jos who reported on the attack.
Bernard Biniyat, a medical technician in Mallagum, told CNA that the raid was foreshadowed by the killing of four farmers on Dec. 13 by herders of the Islamic Fulani tribe.
Biniyat said a local farmer, Cletus Dunia, confronted the men to object to their open grazing on his ripe bean crop. Dunia was hacked to death along with three other farmers in nearby fields, according to a press release of the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union….