5 000 flee central Nigeria violence

2011-12-01 22:06

Lagos - Authorities say at least 5 000 people have fled areas in central Nigeria, where at least five people have died.

Benue state's information commissioner said on Thursday the fighting involved the Tiv and Fulani ethnic groups in his state and neighbouring Nasarawa state to the north.

Conrad Wergba said the fighting forced people to abandon villages in the rural pasturelands and seek refuge elsewhere.

A Benue state police spokesperson said at least five people had died, but acknowledged the toll could be more as the villages are in remote areas.

Central Nigeria remains a dividing line where violence flares between religious and ethnic groups in this nation of more than 160 million people.