At least 55 killed in communal violence in Nigeria

At least 55 people have been killed in communal violence in the northern Nigerian state of Kaduna over the last few days, local police said on Sunday.

Reuters news agency reports local police commissioner Ahmad Abdur-Rahman to have said the clashes between two communities in the Kasuwan Magani area of southern Kaduna had led to 22 arrests. He did not give details on the cause of the conflict but tension and clashes along ethnic lines have plagued that part of the state in the last few years.

“Anybody that has a hand in this crisis must face the full wrath of law,” Abdur-Rahman said.

He said a curfew in Kasuwan Magani imposed by the state government on Thursday had helped to calm the situation.

Hundreds of people have been killed this year in outbreaks of communal violence across Nigeria. Security has become a key campaign issue ahead of the February 2019 election in which President Muhammadu Buhari will seek a second term.

The presidency condemned the violence in a statement issued late on Saturday. “The frequent resort to bloodshed by Nigerians over misunderstandings that can be resolved peacefully, is worrisome,” said a statement issued by Buhari’s spokesman, Garba Shehu.

Last year troops and additional police officers were deployed to Southern Kaduna in response to an outbreak of violence.