At least 7 people have been killed in southeastern Nigeria’s Enugu state by suspected Fulani herdsmen, according to the local police.
The attackers raided a farming community in the state with guns and machetes forcing residents to flee to neighbouring villages.
Speaking to AFP, the state police said that the suspected Fulani herdsmen razed homes including a pastor’s home.
We have recovered seven corpses and six people were injured.
“Suspected Fulani herdsmen attacked Nimbo community in Uzo-Uwani local government area in the early morning hours yesterday (Monday),” state police spokesman Ebere Amaraizu said.
“We have recovered seven corpses and six people were injured,” he said.
However, local media are reporting the death toll to be between 20 and 48 people with dozens injured. Residents on the other hand, claim more than 40 people were killed by the attackers.
Buhari orders swift action on deaths in Enugu
Meanwhile President Buhari is reported to have ordered the state security apparatus to fish out culprits of the murders. He met Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State who also expressed delight at the President’s directive.
Gov Ugwuanyi: “It's not true. At no point did I call Mr President, or anyone in the Presidency for that matter.” pic.twitter.com/tJaLWBhkId— President Buhari (@NGRPresident) April 27, 2016
The Fulani herdsmen have always been in conflict with farmers in Africa’s biggest economy.
According to reports, their conflict is a land resource based struggle. The two are in constant violent conflict over herdsmen’s increased need for access to grazing lands.
Earlier in the month, at least 15 people were killed by the herdsmen in Nigeria’s eastern state of Taraba according to the local police.
Additional security forces had been deployed to the area and investigations launched into the weekend violence.