According to reports in the Nigerian media, confirmed on Monday by a Nigerian priest, a Catholic minor seminary has been attacked by largely Muslim Fulani herdsmen in Jalingo, part of Nigeria’s north-central “Middle Belt” region, leaving no fatalities but several injuries, including two priests.
The attack occurred in the early morning hours Monday, and is the latest in a long-running series of violent incidents involving mostly Muslim herdsmen and mostly Christian farmers in the Middle Belt area.
On Monday, Father Emmanuel Atsue, rector of Sacred Heart Minor Seminary in Jalingo, used WhatsApp to circulate information about the attack, saying he was doing so with permission from Bishop Charles Hammawa of the Diocese of Jalingo.
Atsue said the attack occurred around 12:30 a.m. local time on Monday, and he described the Fulani gunmen as “sophisticated,” saying residents at the minor seminary heard their conversations.
“They shot sporadically at the rector’s residence, broke window glasses in the process, (littered live bullets were collected by police), [and shot out] the windscreen of one of the vehicles belonging to one of the priests,” Atsue said.
“They shot and injured one of the priests, Father Cornelius Pobah, in the leg, [and] beat up Father Stephen Bakari,” he said.
The state commissioner of police told the Nigerian news site Premium Timesthat the Fulani had targeted Pobah because he had earlier challenged their attempts to graze cattle on seminary grounds.
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