Cloudy
58°
Cloudy
Hi 66° | Lo 51°

Gunmen Reportedly Kill 200 in Nigeria

Abuja, Nigeria (dpa) — About 200 people are thought to have been killed by gunmen in attacks on three villages in central Nigeria, the news website Naij and other local media reported Sunday.

Saturday’s attack was followed by another on Sunday in northeastern Taraba state, where 35 people were reported killed. Further details were not immediately available.

In both cases, the attackers were suspected to be Fulani herdsmen.

A police spokesman confirmed the attacks on the villages, but did not give a casualty figure. The figure of 200 was based on estimates of the number of victims in each village.

Dozens of heavily armed attackers arrived in Ugwar Sankwai, Ungwar Gata and Chenshyi villages in Kaduna state early Saturday. Some reports gave the name of the third village as Tekum instead of Chenshyi.

“All the houses were burned down by the attackers while people who attempted to run were gunned down,” CKN Nigeria quoted Chenshyi resident Nuhu Moses as saying.

The victims included a pastor’s wife and children, Moses said.

Men, women, children and elderly people where killed with guns and machetes while others were burned to death in their homes, said a traditional chief who declined to give his name. .for fear of being attacked.

“They took scores of our people with them into forests in all the villages,” he told Sahara Reporters.

Southern Kaduna has seen repeated attacks by Fulani herdsmen since violence erupted after the 2011 general elections.

Saturday’s attack came less than 24 hours after a similar one in Benue state, in which suspected Fulanis sacked several villages and killed more than 30 people.

Earlier this week, attackers believed to be Fulani cattle rustlers killed at least 113 people in several villages in Katsina state.

Disputes over pasture, cattle or religion often turn to violence in the region.