10 people are killed by gunfire in central Nigeria

Sep 14, 2023 | Security | 0 comments

The military reported that gunmen had killed at least 10 people in a state in central Nigeria that has turned into a hotspot for inter-communal fighting.

After 300 people were killed in three months of attacks on primarily Muslim nomadic herder and Christian farming communities, the army increased security in Plateau State.

Gunmen stormed the Kulben neighbourhood of Plateau’s Mangu district on Sunday in the most recent attack, according to army spokesman Captain Oya James, who spoke to AFP. This area has been the epicentre of months of violence.

At least 10 deaths have been officially confirmed, according to James. “The attackers have fled since our men arrived.”

Conflict over land and resources for grazing and farming is at the heart of violence in Plateau, which sits on the line separating Nigeria’s predominantly Christian south from its predominately Muslim north.

However, as armed militias conduct hit-for-hit retaliation raids on villages and communities and organise self-defence vigilante groups, violence frequently spirals out of control.

Resident Peter Langae said, “We heard the sound of gunshots; everyone ran for their lives, but some were killed, including local vigilantes.”

Six members of the vigilante group, along with four community members, were reportedly killed while pursuing the attackers.

Since the most recent attacks started in May, more than 80,000 people have been forced out of their homes due to violence.

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who took office in May with a promise to prioritise addressing insecurity, is currently dealing with a number of difficulties, including intercommunal violence in central Nigeria.

The Nigerian military is also engaged in combat with bandit gangs that conduct large-scale kidnappings and looting raids in the northwest and a protracted jihadist insurgency in the northeast.

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