Dozens killed, hundreds displaced in Nigeria violence

Nigeria’s top Muslim body calls on government to launch efforts to douse tension, prevent reprisals
LAGOS, Nigeria: Hundreds of people have been displaced following violent attacks and reprisals in central Nigeria Plateau state where dozens were killed and at least 150 houses were torched, the country’s apex Muslim body said on Monday.
In a statement, Jama’at Nasrul Islam (JNI) said the attacks in Bassa area of Plateau appeared “premeditated” while security agencies allegedly face claims of taking sides in the clashes.
“JNI received with grave concern the news of premeditated killings of innocent persons and destructions of properties worth millions in Bassa Local Government Area of Plateau State on Wednesday, 14th March 2018, as well as Rukuba Chiefdom in the same Bassa Local Government Area,” the statement quoted JNI’s Secretary General Khalid Aliyu as saying.
The body called on the government to launch immediate efforts to douse the tension and prevent reprisals.
Last week, the Nigerian army had confirmed that 23 civilians and two soldiers were killed in one of the attacks, while seven suspects were also arrested.
Once the hotbed of ethnic clashes, Plateau had recently experienced peace following various reconciliation efforts championed by government and independent bodies.
But tension has resumed in the state in the past weeks — apparently a fallout of the violence in the neighboring Benue, Taraba and Kaduna states where herders have had a running battle with farmers. Hundreds have died in the crises.–AA

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