The independent Catholic News Agency discusses Boko Haram and the Muslim Fulani militia, overwhelmingly the two groups most likely to have murdered Fr. Bello and kidnapped Fr. Keke. Vatican News fastidiously refers to the perpetrators as â€œbandits,â€ without giving any hint of an Islamic jihad aspect to the crimes. Mustnâ€™t transgress against the Francischurch narrative.
â€œCatholic priest killed, another kidnapped in attack on Nigerian parish,â€ by Courtney Mares,Â Catholic News Agency, May 21, 2021 (thanks to Tom):
Gunmen attacked a Catholic parish in northern Nigeria Thursday, killing one priest and kidnapping another.
Fr. Alphonsus Bello was found dead May 21, the morning after his parish, St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church in the Diocese of Sokoto, was attacked by armed bandits. He was 33.
Bello was kidnapped along with another priest, Fr. Joe Keke, 75, who remains missing, according to a statement from the diocese in the extreme northwest of Nigeria.
Fr. Cornelius Tagwai, chancellor of Sokoto diocese, appealed for prayers for â€œthe immediate and safe return of Fr. Keke and for the peaceful repose of Fr. Bello.â€
After the attack, Fr. Belloâ€™s body was left in farmland behind the local catechetical training schoolâ€¦.
On May 17, a Catholic priest serving in Nigeriaâ€™s northern Kaduna archdiocese was kidnapped with 10 other people in an attack by gunmen that killed eight people.
Two days later, bandits reportedly attacked an Assemblies of God church building in northern Nigeria, also killing eight people, according to local media.
Nigerians have suffered attacks from Boko Haram since 2009. Insecurity in the country has also worsened due to the actions of the predominantly Muslim Fulani militia, who often clash with farmers over grazing landsâ€¦.
â€œNigeria: Bandits kill one Catholic priest, kidnap another,â€Â Vatican News, May 21, 2021:
Father Alphonsus Bello, a parish priest in northern Nigeria, was found dead on Friday morning, while another priest, Father Joe Keke was allegedly kidnapped by unknown bandits, a symptom of the rising state of insecurity in the countryâ€¦.
Father Umoh said Fr Belloâ€™s tragic death comes after an earlier report at about 1:35 am by the Dean of Malumfashi Deanery, Fr Stephen Ojapah, MSP, who pointed out that the parish house of St. Vincent Ferrer had been attacked by a group of about fifteen bandits.
Frs. Alphonsus Bello and Joe Keke were abducted by the group of bandits during the attack.
The whereabouts of Fr Keke, 75, is still unknown and the kidnappers have not made contact.
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