World Bulletin / News Desk
At least 37 people were killed and many wounded in attacks across four villages in Nigeria's central Plateau State on Monday.
"The attackers killed about 37 people across the affected communities," army spokesman Captain Salisu Mustapha said in a statement issued on Tuesday and obtained by Anadolu Agency.
"On receiving the report, Special Task Force (STF) personnel swiftly moved to the scene to bring the situation under control but the gunmen fled on sighting the troops," he added.
Police spokeswoman Felicia Anselm told Anadolu Agency they were investigating the attacks.
She confirmed the attacks took place at around 1am Monday in the Gura Bwok, Fan, Heipang and Foron districts.
Locals say there was a mass burial of at least 15 victims of the violence on Tuesday evening.
Titus Mann, a popular civil rights activist and local resident, told AA the attacks had come in retaliation for what local herdsmen described as the recent killing of two of their kinsmen – and as many as 200 heads of livestock – by locals in Fan.
The herdsmen had repeatedly accused local media of failing to report injustices done to them, while highlighting their attacks on rival ethnic groups, such as the Berom and Tarok, both natives of the troubled state.
Plateau has been the epicenter of ethno-religious violence that has killed hundreds over the past two decades, before the Boko Haram insurgency reared its head in the country's northeast region.
Plateau shares borders with the northeastern Bauchi State, where the now dreaded insurgency took root in the early 2000s.
Violence in Plateau has tapered off significantly within recent months, although there have been occasional ethnic clashes between local tribes, especially Berom, Taroh and Hausa-Fulani herdsmen.
The crisis in Plateau centers largely on control of land and the sharing of political offices.Last Mod: 27 Kasım 2013, 11:28