Gunmen kill at least 18 in attack in central Nigeria

At least 18 people were feared killed and six others wounded following a night attack by gunmen in Bassa, a town in Plateau State, in central Nigeria, according to local sources on Thursday.

Police authorities also confirmed the incident, which occurred late Wednesday.

Police spokesman Tyopev Terna told Xinhua by telephone that an investigation into the attack is underway.

Local sources, however, said suspected herdsmen stormed the community at about 11:30 p.m. Wednesday to carry out the attack.

One survivor and community leader told Xinhua that neighbors gathered at least 18 bodies after the attack, saying the victims included toddlers, teenagers, women, and local farmers.

“Most of them (the attackers) wore black robes,” said the community leader who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Bassa is one of the frequently attacked towns in Nigeria’s Plateau State, which is situated in Nigeria’s middle belt where the Muslim-dominated north and the Christian-majority south meet.

On Sept. 8, 2017, at least 19 persons were confirmed killed and five others wounded in Bassa town.

Earlier this year, 25 people were killed and 11 houses razed when suspected herdsmen attacked the same town.

Last Friday, the government of Plateau imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew in parts of the state after some gunmen attacked north of Jos, the state capital, killing at least nine. The government relaxed the curfew two days later.

Plateau has witnessed almost constant rifts between locals and Fulani herdsmen. Many, including women and children, have been killed in previous attacks.