Sixteen people have been killed in an attack in northcentral Nigeria, where clashes between herders and farmers are common, the army said Sunday.
The attack occurred around midnight Saturday in the village of Mushu in the Plateau State, Captain Oya James told AFP.
“We were sleeping when suddenly loud shots rang out,” said Markus Amorudu, a resident of the village.
“We were scared because we weren’t expecting an attack. People hid, but the assailants captured many of us, some were killed, others wounded,” he told AFP.
The region is on the dividing line between Nigeria’s mostly Muslim north and mainly Christian south and has for years struggled with ethnic and religious tensions.
It was not immediately clear what sparked the latest attack and who was responsible.
Security personnel were deployed to prevent any more clashes in the area, where tit-for-tat killings between herders, who are most often Muslim, and farmers, who are generally Christian, often spiral into village raids by heavily armed gangs.
State Governor Caleb Mutfwang condemned the latest attack as “barbaric, brutal and uncalled for” and vowed to bring the perpetrators to justice, his spokesman, Gyang Bere, told reporters.
“Proactive measures will be taken by government to curb the ongoing attacks on innocent citizens,” Bere quoted the governor as saying.