At least 10 killed in new central Nigeria attack

At least 10 people were killed on Thursday in a fresh outbreak of violence in the central Nigeria state of Benue where there have been increasing herder-farmer clashes, police said Friday.

“Eight dead bodies were found in the bush around Tse-Adudu and Enger villages in Gwer West local government area,” Benue state police spokesman Moses Yamu said in a statement.

“This is in addition to the two that were removed from the same area at about 8:30 am (7:30 GMT) of the same day,” said Yamu, adding “they were believed to be victims of armed bandits.”

Locals put the death toll higher, saying that they were missing upwards of 30 people after the armed men ransacked their villages.

“(They were) shooting anything on sight and razing the houses and huts,”said a resident of Agagbe village, who spoke to AFP on condition of anonymity.

The motivation for the attack was unclear.

Since the start of the year, Nigeria has seen a growing number of clashes between largely nomadic herders and sedentary farmers over land, water and grazing rights.

Benue state lies in Nigeria’s so-called Middle Belt that separates the predominantly Muslim north from the largely Christian south. It has long been a hotbed of ethnic, sectarian and religious tensions.

President Muhammadu Buhari has been under pressure to quell the violence and has ordered military reinforcements into a number of states, including Benue.

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