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A group of Muslim raiders with machetes attacked another Christian village in Nigeria on Wednesday morning. The attackers killed twelve villagers”seven women, four children, and one man”and cut their tongues out.

Attackers killed 12 people Wednesday morning in a small Christian village in central Nigeria, officials said, cutting out most of the victims’ tongues in the latest violence in a region where religious fighting already has killed hundreds this year.

The attack almost mirrored the tactics used by those who carried out similar massacres in Christian villages last week when more than 200 people were slaughtered.

Under the cover of darkness and a driving rain, raiders with machetes entered the village of Byie early Wednesday, setting fire to homes and firing gunshots into the air to drive frightened villagers into the night, witness Linus Vwi said.

“It was raining. They took that advantage,” Vwi said.

Vwi said he and about 20 neighbors rushed into the surrounding wilderness, cowering in bushes as they listened to screams.

He said the attackers spoke Fulani, a language used mostly by Muslim cattle herders in the region. Officials and witnesses blamed Fulani herders for the killings last week.

Earlier this week Joseph Bottum asked , “How many more rampages will it take? How many more murders of 500 people here, 500 people there”a land red with blood”before the Nigerian government understands its responsibilities?”

In order to bring attention to the murderous consequences of the failure of Nigeria to defend its own people, First Things is organizing a protest rally, to be held at 5:00 p.m. on April 7 at the Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the United Nations, 828 Second Avenue in New York City.

Joe Carter is web editor for First Things .

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