Buhari condemns killing of Benue priests, vows to apprehend assailants

01:10At Least 35 People Killed in Attack on Village in Southeast Nigeria - Reports

Armed herdsmen kill two Catholic Priests, 17 others in Benue State

Worshippers were gathered for the daily 5:30 am (0430GMT) service at St. Ignatius Catholic church when they heard gunshots, said Mbalom resident Terhemen Angor to AFP. They also burnt down several houses in the community.

When contacted, Commissioner of Police in charge of Benue State, CP Fatai Owoseni said he was yet to get details about the attack.

The Catholic diocese of Makurdi confirmed the death of priests Joseph Gor and Felix Tyolaha in a statement condemning the violence.

The statement explained that the citizens can not continue to fall victims of attacks by marauders while the government fails to exert itself to guarantee their safety.

Semi-nomadic herdsmen armed with guns killed 16 people on Tuesday in an attack on a church congregation in a central state of Nigeria plagued by communal violence, police said.

"We are under siege and I do believe that this has gone beyond the normal herdsmen-farmers crisis; this is a new dimension of attack and it has never happened before". The fulanis are still around us here in mbalom.

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Mr. Shawon revealed that the assailants stormed Ali Agundu, a border settlement with Daudu where two Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps are located, at about 2.00 am and killed 13 persons.

National Secretary, Alhaji Baba Othman Ngelzarma who spoke, said they were duty-bound to proffer lasting solution to the incessant herdsmen attacks on innocent citizens of the country.

President Muhammadu Buhari in a statement called the violation of a place of worship "vile, evil, and satanic" and an attempt to stoke religious conflict.

"As we have previously requested in our series of press releases, the military should also handle them as such, " he said.

Benue is located in Nigeria's so-called Middle Belt which separates the predominantly Muslim north from the largely Christian south. We also urge the global community to ensure that the Nigerian government addresses this violence effectively.

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