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Central Nigeria: at least 16 dead in 2 new attacks

Central Nigeria: at least 16 dead in 2 new attacks
A man tries to salvage items from stores set on fire after clashes in the Shasha market in Ibadan, southwest Nigeria, February 15, 2021.   -  
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At least 16 people have been killed in Plateau State, central Nigeria, the scene of a resurgence of deadly clashes between farmers and herders, the army said on Thursday.

North-western and central Nigeria are regularly the scene of tensions and deadly conflicts between farming and herding communities over the use of land and water resources.

In the latest violence on Tuesday, six members of a local farmers' vigilante group were killed by gunmen in Riyom district, while ten others were killed in an attack in the Mangu area, an army spokesman said.

"Six lives were lost in Riyom," Major Ishaku Takwa told AFP on Wednesday. "Another attack took place in some communities in Mangu and 10 people died."

Bala Fwangje, local MP for Mangu South, said 14 people had been killed in the area. "We have learned that 14 people have been killed, houses destroyed and property set on fire. I have not yet received all the details", said Mr. Fwangje.

Since May, violence has claimed more than 200 lives between Berom farming communities and Fulani herding communities in the Riyom, Barkin Ladi and Mangu regions.

The string of killings followed by reprisals, and the absence of effective justice, have fostered the emergence of a wider criminal element in the region, with gangs carrying out raids on villages, killing villagers by the dozen and kidnapping for ransom.

These acts of violence are just one of the many security challenges facing President Bola Tinubu, at the helm of Africa's most populous country and the continent's leading economy.

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