At least 30 killed in farmer-herder violence in Nigeria:police

Kano, Nov 22 (AFP) At least 30 people were killed whenfarmers attacked herdsmen in northeast Nigeria's Adamawastate, police said today.State poli...

Kano, Nov 22 (AFP) At least 30 people were killed whenfarmers attacked herdsmen in northeast Nigeria's Adamawastate, police said today.

State police spokesman Othman Abubakar said farmers fromthe Christian Bachama ethnic group stormed four settlements ofMuslim Fulani herders in Numan district on Monday, hackingresidents and burning homes.

"We have so far recovered 30 bodies from the affectedvillages but the toll is not conclusive as rescue teams arestill combing the bushes in the area for more bodies," hesaid.

A man-hunt had been launched for the assailants, headded.

"The deputy governor visited the villages and aninvestigation has commenced to unravel the cause of the attackand bring the perpetrators to justice," he said.

Fulani community leaders gave higher tolls from theincident, the latest in a long-running series of clashesbetween farmers and herders across Nigeria.

Mafindi Danburam, head of the herders' union in Adamawa,said the farmers stormed the villages of Kikan, Kodomun,Shafaran and Ketowal at about 1:00 pm (local time) on Monday,"killing women and children" and burning homes.

"From our estimation more than 60 women and children wereslaughtered in the attack, with some of them pursued insidethe bush and killed while they tried to flee," he added.

The Fulanis had taken their cattle for grazing whileothers had gone to the market when the villages were attacked.

Aminu Yakub, in charge of Numan's central mosque, said 47bodies were buried on Tuesday in line with the Muslimtradition.

"We claimed 47 bodies of women and children from themorgue at the general hospital for burial, including months-old babies," he said.

Numan, which lies on the Benue River some 70 kilometreswest from the state capital, Yola, is Adamawa's farming andherding hub, with fertile land and fresh water.

Disputes over grazing and water rights have persistedbetween the indigenous Bachama farmers and settler Fulaniherders, leading to periodic violence.

Reports of Monday's attack came a day after at least 50worshippers were killed in a suicide bombing in a mosque inMubi, also in Adamawa state.

Although no group has claimed responsibility, the bombingbore the hallmarks of Boko Haram Islamists who are waging ajihadist uprising in Nigeria's northeast.

Nigeria's central states have been riven for decades withethnic, sectarian and religious violence linked to tensionsbetween farmers and herders over land and water.

In September, the International Crisis Group said some2,500 people were killed and tens of thousands forced fromtheir homes, as unrest spread southwards from central andnorthern states.

It warned the deadly clashes threatened the country'snational security. (AFP)AJR.

This is unedited, unformatted feed from the Press Trust of India wire.

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