Muslim youths hacked a Christian family of eight to death in Nigeria’s volatile Plateau state, continuing a week of religious violence, according to the British news service Reuters.

Over the last month, extremists have killed 24 Christians, reported the human rights group Compass Direct, which reported that attacks on August 11-15 in Ratsa Foron village left six Christians dead; on Aug. 14, in Chwelnyap, two were killed; on Aug. 15 in Heipang village, Muslim extremists killed ten Christians, including nine members of one family; and on Aug. 21, assaults in Kwi, Loton and Jwol villages resulted in the deaths of six more Christians.

Sources told Compass Direct that Nigerian army soldiers participated in some of the assaults “or at least accompanied the assailants.”

As a result of those reports, Plateau Governor Jonah Jang called for immediate withdrawal of the Nigerian army because he believed Muslims in the army had taken sides with Islamist assailants.

“I am convinced that the armed forces are being polluted with the religious crisis in the country,” Jang told reporters. “Before now, the military personnel used to stay in the barracks, but today the armed forces have started taking sides in this religious crisis, and if they are not called to order, it will be dangerous for the country.”

Reuters put the month’s death toll at 40 and reported that Plateau state spokesman Yiljap Abraham took journalists to a house in the village of Tatu, where the bodies of the eight victims from the latest attack were still lying on the floor.

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