Nigeria: Christian women and children flee deadly attack by Muslim Fulani herdsmen

The Fulani community are involved in a long-running dispute with Christian farmers in Nigeria.Reuters

Children, men and women fled for the lives after their largely Christian community in the Nigeria's northern state of Kaduna was attacked by suspected Muslim Fulani herdsmen.

Two people were murdered and all the churches and some houses in Ninte burned to the ground in the attack which took place early in the morning, according to World Watch Monitor.

The fleeing Christians were taken in by church leaders in nearby Kafanchan where the local Catholic bishop, Joseph Bagobiri, said a few days ago that more than 1.3 million Christians have now fled their homes in northern Nigeria to escape Islamist violence.

Bishop Bagobiri told Fides that in the past decade about 11,500 Christians have been killed and 13,000 churches damaged or abandoned in the northern states of Borno, Kano, and Yobe. The attacks are mainly by the Fulani herdsmen, although some are by Boko Haram.

The Bishop has called for a global fund to help rehabilitate of victims and restore to them their land and property.

The latest atrocity came on Christian farmers who were returning to the land to work it for food and has brought fears of shortages later in the year.

World Watch Monitor said: "Such attacks have features long familiar to Nigerians: ethnic Fulani cattle herders, largely Muslim, moving in on farmers, largely Christian. The long-running land conflict is frequently framed in economic terms, but it also has distinctive religious contours."

Pulse reported that the latest killings came after a Fulani man was seen grazing his cattle on agricultural farm land. He was chased off by local youth. Soon after, the Fulani retaliated with a raid on the entire village.