Gunmen kill five villagers in central Nigeria: police

Gunmen have killed five villagers in central Nigeria’s Plateau state, police said on Friday, but it was not immediately clear if the killings were linked to a long-running battle over grazing rights.

The incident happened late on Wednesday in Rawuru village in the Barkin Ladi district of the state, an area beset with clashes between local farmers and nomadic Fulani herdsmen.

The victims were returning from a birthday party in the neighbouring Pugu village when they were attacked, state police spokesperson Tyopeeve Terna said in a statement.

“On the 26/12/2018 at about 21:15 hours, some unknown gunmen attacked some people when they were returning from a birthday party from Pugu village. As a result of the attack, five people were killed and two were injured,” Terna said.

He said police would hunt down the killers and bring them to justice.

Plateau is among the states in central Nigeria that have seen repeated clashes between farmers and herders in recent years, leaving thousands of people dead.

The violence which often takes on ethnic and religious differences, is mostly blamed on control of land and grazing rights.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, who came to power in 2015 and is seeking a second term in February elections, is under pressure to end the conflict.

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