Africa Priest shot as herdsmen attack seminary in Nigeria

Priest shot as herdsmen attack seminary in Nigeria

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Scores of seminary students also injured in assault

A Catholic priest was shot and injured on Monday as herdsmen allegedly attacked a seminary in Nigeria’s northeastern Taraba, according to a Catholic spokesman.

“Our seminary in Jalingo has just been attacked by the Fulani; students were injured, some cars destroyed, two priests beaten and one shot in the leg. They are currently receiving treatment at Federal Medical Center,” Evaristus Bassey, head of Caritas Nigeria, a relief and development agency of the Catholic Church, told reporters in a terse statement.

Bassey said the attackers also threatened more violence before they left the crime scene.

David Misal, Taraba police spokesman, confirmed the attack to Anadolu Agency by phone, saying personnel deployed in the area have restored calm. 

“The incident occurred in the early hours of Monday. We are investigating the attack which we understood were carried out by some hoodlums suspected to be Fulani herdsmen. They came to look for a certain priest with whom they reportedly had some disagreement over grazing of their cattle,” Misal told Anadolu Agency.

Misal said no arrests have yet been made.

Nigeria’s agrarian belt — especially Taraba and Benue — have recorded hostilities between herdsmen and local farmers and militias reportedly backed by regional governments over grazing right for cattle. 

Hundreds have died in the violence this year alone as herdsmen resisted a law banning open grazing in some of the states.