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7 killed in restive central Nigeria

26 March 2014, 21:29

Lagos - Renewed violence between herdsmen and farmers in central Nigeria has killed seven, police said on Wednesday, just days after a previous attack that claimed 13 lives.

"We recovered seven bodies following the attack on Agena village yesterday [Tuesday]," Benue state spokesperson Daniel Ezeala told AFP by telephone.

"It was the usual attack by Fulani herdsmen on Tiv farming communities in the state," he said, adding that the police had quelled the violence.

Central Nigeria, where the mainly Christian south meets the largely Muslim north, has been plagued by communal violence for many years. The Tiv are Christian and the Fulani are Muslim.

On Sunday, suspected Fulani herdsmen killed 13 people in Gbajimba, another Tiv farming village.

Earlier this month, at least 100 people were killed early this month in nearby Kaduna state when assailants armed with guns and machetes attacked local villages.

Fulani leaders have for years complained about the loss of grazing land crucial to their livelihood, with resentment between the herdsmen and their agrarian neighbours rising over the past decade.

Traders have expressed fears that the unrest in Benue and surrounding states could affect the supply of grain this year, exacerbating an expected dip in stocks due to poor rain forecasts.



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