Two soldiers killed in Nigeria communal violence: army

2018-03-15 14:00

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Kano - At least two soldiers were killed Wednesday in renewed violence between herders and farmers in central Nigeria's Plateau state days after similar violence killed 25 in unrest linked to land, water and grazing rights.

Troops were deployed to contain the fresh clashes between Fulani herders and farmers from Irigwe ethnic group in Bassa district, a military spokesman told reporters, as bloodshed continued in the region despite a round-the-clock curfew imposed to stem the fighting.

"We lost two of our men, two others were injured and are receiving treatment in hospital," said Major Umar Adamu.

Many people from the two warring sides were "feared killed" in the violence, which left scores of homes burnt, he said.

The violence was believed to be reprisals for Monday's attack on Irigwe farmers that killed 25.

Troops backed by fighter jets were deployed to the area to contain the violence, said Adamu, adding that eight suspects had been arrested in connection with the violence and weapons recovered from them.

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Plateau state governor Simon Lalong announced dusk-to-dawn curfew in the entire Bassa district to end hostilities.

The state lies in Nigeria's so-called Middle Belt that separates the predominantly Muslim north from the largely Christian south.

The area has long been a hotbed of ethnic, sectarian and religious tensions between indigenous farming communities, who are mainly Christian, and the nomadic Hausa/Fulani cattle herders, who are Muslim.

Tensions have boiled over access to land and resources, escalating into a rift that has deepened along nominally religious lines.

Last week, at least five people were killed in the state, while President Muhammadu Buhari finished up a tour of Plateau and four other states hit by violence.

Nigeria has seen a growing number of clashes between herders and farmers over grazing rights since the beginning of the year.

Read more on:    nigeria  |  west africa

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