Gunmen kill 10 people in Central Nigeria

According to the military, armed gunmen have taken the lives of a minimum of 10 individuals in a central Nigerian state that has become a hotspot for intercommunal conflicts.

The military has heightened security measures in Plateau State following a series of attacks over the past three months, resulting in the deaths of approximately 300 individuals.

The attacks primarily involve clashes between Muslim nomadic herders and Christian farming communities.

In the most recent assault on Sunday, armed assailants raided the Kulben area within Plateau’s Mangu district, which has served as the focal point for months of ongoing violence, as stated by army spokesman Captain Oya James in an interview with media.

“At least 10 people have been confirmed killed,” James said. “When our men arrived the attackers have left.”

The violence in Plateau State, located at the intersection of Nigeria’s predominantly Muslim north and largely Christian south, stems from disputes over land and resources for both grazing and farming.

The cycle of violence frequently escalates when armed militias engage in retaliatory attacks on villages, and communities organize self-defense vigilante groups in response.

“We heard the sound of gunshots, everyone ran for their lives, but some were killed, including local vigilantes,” local resident Peter Langae said.

Vigilante members reported that six of their comrades were fatally injured while pursuing the assailants, and four individuals from the community also lost their lives.

Since the onset of the recent wave of attacks in May, over 80,000 individuals have been forced to flee their homes due to the violence.

Intercommunal violence in central Nigeria is but one of the challenges confronting President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who assumed office in May with a commitment to prioritize addressing insecurity.

Nigeria’s armed forces are concurrently engaged in combating a persistent jihadist insurgency in the northeast and tackling bandit groups in the northwest that perpetrate large-scale kidnappings and raids for plunder.

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