Monday 23 April 2018

Herdsmen kill at least 96 people in Nigeria

Buhari Bello

At least 96 people have been killed in Nigeria after several villages were attacked by nomadic herders in a land dispute.

The massacre took place in the province of Benue, near the country's middle belt region, and is suspected to have been carried out by Fulani herdsmen.

Hundreds are killed each year in clashes pitting the semi-nomadic, cattle-herding Fulani people against more settled communities that practice a mix of farming and cattle rearing.

Read More: Boko Haram retakes Nigerian town of Marte in Borno state

A senior military officer said fighting around five villages lasted several days in the Logo local government area of Benue.

Police spokesman Austine Ezeani said a mobile police unit was deployed to the area.

The unrest is often seen as sectarian in nature since Fulanis are Muslim and the communities with which they are in conflict in central Nigeria - where the country's mostly Christian south and Muslim north meet - tend to be Christian.

Read More: Inside Boko Haram's 'caliphate' in Nigeria

Nigerian troops fought militiamen in early May after dozens were killed in villages on the border of middle belt states Plateau and Taraba.

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