WARRI, Nigeria (AP) — At least 17 people have been killed in an attack on a community in Benue state in central Nigeria, an official said Tuesday, while residents said the toll was higher.
A special adviser to the governor, Tahav Agerzua, condemned Monday evening's attack on Zaki Biam by unidentified gunmen.
The assault comes barely a week after suspected Fulani herdsmen killed over 10 people in the Buruku area of Benue state, which led Gov. Samuel Ortom to order the herdsmen to leave the state within 72 hours.
A community leader, Iverem Peters, said the gunmen on Monday stormed the community in cars and on motorcycles, shooting indiscriminately at residents and burning houses. Peters said more than 20 people were killed, with several others injured and many houses razed.
State police confirmed the attack but did not give a death toll. They said security had been increased in the area.
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.
In a statement, President Muhammadu Buhari condemned the "wicked attack" and called for an investigation.