‘More than 20 killed’ in attack on community in central Nigeria

More than 20 people have been killed in an attack on a community in Benue state in central Nigeria, according to local leaders, AP reports.

Officials said at least 17 were killed in the assault on Zaki Biam by unidentified gunmen, while community leader Iverem Peters said more than 20 died.

Mr Peters said the gunmen stormed the community in cars and on motorcycles, shooting indiscriminately at residents and burning houses. He several other people were injured and many houses were burned.

An adviser to the governor, Tahav Agerzua, condemned the attack on Monday evening, as did state police, but they did not give a death toll. They said security had been increased in the area.

In a statement, President Muhammadu Buhari condemned the “wicked attack” and called for an investigation.

The assault comes barely a week after suspected Fulani herdsmen killed more than 10 people in the Buruku area of Benue state, which led governor Samuel Ortom to order the herdsmen to leave the state within 72 hours.

More than 300 people have been killed in clashes between Fulani herdsmen and Benue communities in the past two years. Such fights over land between the mostly Muslim herdsmen and mostly Christian farmers are common in Nigeria.