According to Morning Star News, more than 75 Christians have been killed in Nigeria's Taraba State by Fulani herdsman. Conflicts along Nigeria's middle belt have documented attacks by Fulani herdsman on Christian communities, often at the beckoning of Boko Haram sympathizers. While ties to Boko Haram have not been reported, Morning Star reports that "well-armed mercenaries from Niger" have assisted their Fulani counterparts in slaughtering Christians and destroying churches.
08/10/2014 Nigeria (Morning Star News) - Four Christians killed in Nigeria’s northeastern state of Taraba last week were among at least 76 slain in the state in the past five months, Christian leaders report.
Well-armed Islamist mercenaries from Niger accompanied ethnic Fulani herdsmen in attacks on eight towns and villages across four local government areas in the southern part of state, they told the head of the state chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria. The assailants also destroyed three church buildings.
On Thursday (July 31) the assailants killed three Christians in their homes in Mayokam, Bali Local Government Area, and one in Danburam, they said. Since March, mercenary-backed, Islamist Fulani herdsmen have killed 30 Christians in Ndo Yakuima, 24 in Bajimba, and 11 in Nayinwa, Tudun Wada and Yamini. In Nwokyon, at least seven Christians were killed.
“They were saying, ‘We have killed and destroyed these infidels, and we must take possession of their lands; here we shall establish an Islamic state,’ and this is evidence that we are facing a genocide against Christians in this state and in northern Nigeria,” the Rt. Rev. Timothy Yahaya, chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria in Taraba state, told Morning Star News.
Fulani herdsmen have long attacked settled Christian farmers in Plateau, Bauchi, Kaduna, Taraba and Adamawa states, but in the past year analysts have begun to see some ties between the assailants and Islamic extremist groups keen to exploit longstanding ethnic, property and religious conflicts.