Central Nigeria gun attacks kill 12: police

Bandits in picture. At least 20 people were killed in Nigeria's Sokoto state when gunmen attacked a market and torched cars. GETTYIMAGES

At least 12 people were killed at the weekend in two gun attacks in central Nigeria, an area where tensions have been rising between nomadic herders and local farming communities, police and officials said.

In the first attack, gunmen opened fire from a car on a bar in Kuru in Jos in Plateau state, killing 10 people before driving off, local police spokesman Ubah Ogaba said.

“We received a report that 10 persons were shot dead in a drinking joint at Sabon Layi, Kuru in Jos South LGA by yet to be identified gunmen who drove in with a (Toyota) Hilux, shot sporadically and zoomed off,” he said.

Police said two other people were shot dead on Sunday in Zagun village also in Plateau.

State Governor Simon Lalong said in a statement that 12 people were killed in Kuru and five more critically wounded.

Northwest and central Nigeria have struggled with tensions between nomadic herders and farmers who tussle over control of resources, water and land.

In Jos, mainly Fulani herders have been attacked and their cattle killed in some incidents, leading to reprisal attacks on ethnic Berom and Irigwe farmers in the region.

Jos in Plateau state sits on the dividing line between Nigeria‘s mainly Christian south and mostly Muslim north.

Most of the violence in the wider Plateau state has been linked to long-running sectarian tensions between mostly Christian farmers and Muslim herdsmen.