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At least 140 killed, homes burned in Nigeria Christmas Eve attack – Magazine Creations

Nomadic herdsmen in Nigeria have killed at least 140 people during a Christmas Eve rampage in 15 villages, according to media reports.

The hours-long attacks took place in the country’s central Plateau state, as suspected nomadic herdsmen used firearms and machetes on their victims, Reuters reported.

“As I speak to you, in Mangu local government alone, we have buried 15 people. As of this morning, in Bokkos, we are counting at least 100 bodies. I am yet to take stock of (the deaths in) Barkin Ladi,” said Plateau Governor Caleb Mutfwang on a show on local Channels TV. “It’s been a very scary Christmas for us here in the Plateau.”

The violence was the country’s bloodiest since 2018, when more than 200 people were killed amid clashes between farmers and herdsmen.

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People flee after an attack by gunmen in Bokkos, north-central Nigeria, on Tuesday. Nigerian officials and survivors say at least 140 people have been killed by gunmen who attacked remote villages in north-central Nigeria’s Plateau state, in the latest of these mass killings this year blamed on West Africa’s farmers-herdsmen crisis. (AP)

“We came back at 6 the next morning and found that houses had been burned and people had been killed,” Grace Godwin told the news agency. “There are still people missing.”

It was unclear what sparked the violence, but the region, known as the “Middle Zone,” is often characterized by mainly Muslim Fulani herdsmen clashing with mainly Christian farmers, Reuters reported.

Some of the locals said it took more than 12 hours for the security services to respond to their call for help.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks, although blame has fallen on Fulani herdsmen, who have been accused of carrying out such mass killings in the northwest and central regions where decades-long conflict over access to land and water has further exacerbate the sectarian divide between Christians and Muslims in Africa’s most populous nation.

Burnt vehicle in a burnt house in Nigeria

A burnt car is seen after a gunman attack in Bokkos, north central Nigeria. (AP)

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Nigerian President Bola Tinubu said the violence was “unprovoked” and called on police to find those responsible.

Authorities said houses, cars and motorcycles were also found burned.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

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