At least 10 killed in attack at Nigerian flashpoint for communal clashes

by Reuters
Wednesday, 28 February 2018 12:12 GMT

ARCHIVE PHOTO: People flee with their belongings following an attack by Boko Haram militants in Maiduguri in Borno State, Nigeria May 14, 2015. REUTERS/Stringer

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The region is a hotspot for violence between Muslim herders and Christian farmers over rights to grazing land and agriculture

By Percy Dabang

YOLA, Nigeria, Feb 28 (Reuters) - At least 10 people were killed in an attack in a region of northeastern Nigeria that has been a flashpoint for communal clashes between farmers and herders, a military commander and a local politician said.

Such clashes have plagued Nigeria's hinterland despite pledges by President Muhammadu Buhari since he took power in 2015 to improve security, especially in the northeast, which also faces an insurgency by the militant Islamist group Boko Haram.

Brigadier general Bello Mohammed said on Wednesday soldiers under his command killed 10 herdsmen and arrested seven others after attackers struck a village in the Gwamba region of Adamawa state on Tuesday.

The region is a hotspot for violence between Muslim herders and Christian farmers over rights to grazing land and agriculture.

Others said the number of people killed was higher.

Omayan Tambaya Dilli, a local councillor in the Gwamba region, a few hours after the attack told Reuters 20 people were killed and more than 20 injured after attackers, who he said could be herders, struck.

The attackers came in pick-up trucks and riding motorbikes, and razed many buildings, said Dilli and Yanwari Lunakam, a local vigilante from Gwamba.

Lunakam said 31 people had died and 24 others were injured.

A third person, another vigilante and who declined to be identified, also put the death toll at more than 30.

"We tried our best to defend ourselves but their number was overwhelming," the person said. (Reporting by Percy Dabang in Yola; Writing by Paul Carsten; Editing by Alison Williams)

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