A Nigerian imam, who saved 262 Christians from killer herdsman by hiding them in his mosque and home, has been honoured by US government.

Imam Abubakar Abdullahi, 83, received the International Religious Freedom Award alongside four others from Cyprus, Sudan, Brazil and Iraq.

Abdullahi,had saved the Christians in Barkin Ladi area of Plateau state in central Nigeria who were running away from the killers.

More than 80 others were killed in the attack that targeted Christians in the area, and the number could have been more without the intervention of the imam.

At the event that had US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo present, Imam Abdullahi was said to have “selflessly risked his own life to save members of another religious community, who would have likely been killed without his intervention.”

The imam had told the BBC that he wanted to help because more than 40 years ago the Christians in the area had allowed Muslims to build the masjid.

He had previously received a “handshake and national honour” from Nigerian President Muhamadu Buhari.