Islamic Fulani herdsmen recently opened fire upon a group of Christians in Nigeria’s Borno state, leaving eight dead and more wounded.
According to reports from International Christian Concern (ICC), the radical Islamic militants had AK-47 rifles and shouted, "Allah Akbar [Allah is the greatest]" while firing upon the group. Two that died were suspected to be under 5-years-old. ICC staff saw a two-year-old gun shot wound survivor whose mother died during the attack.
ICC reported that before the shooting a community member was given information about a possible attack. This person acted on the intel and ended up rescuing 15 children, whom he hid in his home until the shooting stopped.
There has been an increase in attacks by suspected Fulani radicals against farming communities in Nigeria’s Middle Belt states in recent years that have reportedly led to thousands of deaths, according to the Christian Post.
Weapons are being made available to militants in Nigeria through war-torn Libya. And in the country’s Northeast region, the terrorist groups Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa Province have killed thousands and displaced millions in recent years.
Around 2,000 Christian schools have also been the brunt of attacks and kidnapping in the last few years.
President Muhammadu Buhari, who comes from a Fulani background, along with the Nigerian government is attributing the violence in the Middle Belt states to decades-old farmer-herder clashes. However, Christian human rights advocates have accused the government of not acknowledging the religious elements of some attacks and therefore not doing enough to protect Nigerian citizens.
"Nigeria is one of the deadliest places on Earth for Christians, as 50,000 to 70,000 have been killed since 2000," says the ICC Persecutor of the Year.