Gunmen Raid Nigerian Villages, Killing More Than 100 People

Mar 16, 2014
Originally published on March 16, 2014 11:48 am

New violence has erupted in central Nigeria, where a dispute over grazing land has reportedly sparked a raid that officials say killed more than 100 people.

Details are still emerging about the attack, which struck several villages on Friday. The BBC says heavily armed men attacked three villages, where they looted and destroyed homes and burned their victims' bodies.

NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton reports for our Newscast unit:

"Nigerian police confirm that cattle herders believed to be from the Fulani ethnic group attacked three villages late on Friday.

"This was in an area where longstanding quarrels over land, ethnicity and religion have erupted into deadly violence in the past.

"Most Fulani-related clashes are concentrated in central Plateau state, pitting semi-nomadic Muslim herders against sedentary, often Christian, farmers in recurrent and murderous killings.

"Thousands of civilians have been killed in recent years in growing animosity that is aggravated by mounting rivalry over grazing land and water resources, mixed with ethnic and sectarian disputes.

"The latest incident follows a separate such attack in northeastern Katsina state this past week."

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