At least 10 Christians slain in Nigerian state

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Suspected Fulani herdsmen and other terrorists on 24 November attacked villages in Taraba state, Nigeria, killing at least 10 Christians, sources said.

The assailants attacked an area from the Yangtu Special Development Area near Takum to villages in Ussa County at about 6 p.m., area residents said.

"Rampaging Muslim bandits on the evening of Friday, Nov. 24 attacked and killed over 10 Christians in some communities in Yangtu Development Area and Ussa Local Government Area," area resident John Chinyang said in a text message to Morning Star News. "The bandits launched attacks against Rubur Ribasi, Nyicwu, and Ruwah communities of Yangtu Special Development Area."

Another resident, Yakubu Tinya, said "the terrorists" shot at anyone they saw.

"Some the Christians were killed while they were returning from their farms, while others were killed in their houses in the affected villages," Tinya said in a text message.

Peter Shamwun, a member of the Ussa Local Council, said Kpambo Yashe in Ussa County was attacked.

"There have been issues of Fulani bandits' attacks in our area, and they're constantly attacking our villages," Shamwun told Morning Star News in a text message. "The bandits also laid siege along Takum-Ussa road and other areas around the Yangtu community, where they killed many more Christians. And these terrorists have been attacking our communities without restraint from security agents."

The attacks have brought untold misery and hardship on area Christians, he said.

"More worrisome is the fact that Christians are being attacked as they work on their farms," Shamwun said. "We are at the mercies of these herdsmen bandits and terrorists."

Usman Abdullahi, spokesman for the Taraba State Police Command, said police had verified only 10 killed on Friday (Nov. 24), including nine identified as Hope Hassan, Rimamsomtse Lamadi, Holiness Enoch, Rimamtsiki Enoch, Egwu Hassan, Saleh Kyatiki, Ephraim Atenji, Manasseh Atenji and Hassan Songure.

Residents said five predominantly Christian communities were attacked: Tukwog, Kpambo Yashe, Rubur Ribasi, Nyicwu and Ruwah. One resident, Ure Caleb, said 20 Christians were killed in attacks on Ussa County and the Yangtu Special Development Area near Takum, while another, Thomas Samuel, said 10 Christians were killed in Takum and Ussa counties.

"These Christians were killed at about 6 p.m.," Samuel said in a text message. "Some of them were killed as they were on their way back from their farms, while others were killed in their homes."

Emmanuel Bello, a spokesman for Taraba Gov. Agbu Kefas, said in a press statement that the governor "has received with utmost shock the horrific attacks on Yangtu by suspected gunmen that reportedly claimed many lives."

"It is the latest in the dastardly acts of worrisome banditry in the area," Bello said. "Dr. Kefas noted that he was doing everything humanly possible to bring an end to such carnage in the state. He added that his recent visits to all security heads at Defense headquarters in Abuja was primarily geared towards attracting federal government support in the fight against banditry in the state."

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