The herders’ clashes in Benue State reached another scale with the killing of two Catholic priests and 14 worshippers at St. Ignatius Catholic Church, Ayar-Mbalom in Gwer West Local Government Area.
The attack, which was said to have occurred during the morning mass in the church, saw the herders suddenly invading the church and subsequently killed the two priests, identified as Father Joseph Gor and Father Felix Tyolaha, and 14 other worshippers.
The killer herders were said to have thereafter set fire on houses in the community.
The incident came after another attack four days ago by the herders in Guma Local Government Area of the state where at least 10 people were also reportedly killed.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has again condemned the killing of two priests and worshippers.
A statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina in Abuja on Tuesday, said the killing was “vile and satanic’’.
Buhari condoled withe the government, people and relations of the victims.
He stated that, “I extend my sincere condolences to the government and people of Benue State, the Mbalom community, and especially the Bishop, priests and members of St Ignatius’ Catholic Church, whose premises was the unfortunate venue of the heinous killings by gunmen.
“This latest assault on innocent persons is particularly despicable. Violating a place of worship, killing priests and worshippers is not only vile, evil and satanic, it is clearly calculated to stoke up religious conflict and plunge our communities into endless bloodletting.’’