Friday, March 13, 2015

6 Christians murdered in Nigeria's Kaduna state

Nigerian soldiers have reportedly opened fire on a church in Nigeria's Kaduna state on Sunday, killing six Christians.

According to the Morning Star News, Nigerian soldiers fired upon St. Peter's Catholic Church on Sunday in Gidan Waya, in Kaduna, after church members refused to remove a roadblock in front of the establishment.

"A soldier approached our (members) who had mounted a blockade during Sunday morning Mass on the road leading to our parish and ordered them to dismantle the blockade," church member Christopher Mamman said in a phone interview.

The members explained that Mass would continue, but the roadblocks would be promptly removed once it was finished. However, this answer allegedly did not satisfy the soldier, who left and returned 10 minutes later with more of his colleagues who were manning a checkpoint on the Jos-Abuja highway.

Mamman said that the soldiers proceeded to fire at the church.

"They stormed the parish, shooting at worshipers inside the church," Mamman recalled. ""Five of our members were shot and killed, while many others were injured."

The sixth fatality was a Christian from another church who was heading home after hearing Mass, Mamman's fellow church member Bulus Jatau said. Jatau also told the Morning Star that Christians and soldiers clashed directly after the shooting on St. Peter's Catholic Church.

A resident in the area who witnessed the shooting told the Morning Star News that an argument had ensued after watchmen in the church asked the soldier to stop accelerating his motorcycle, something he reportedly had a habit of doing whenever he passed by the church.

The church said that roadblocks were something it had adopted as a projective measure against terrorist attacks.

The Morning Star said it was unable to reach the Catholic Bishop of Kafanchan Diocese and the Nigerian military for comment.

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