Abuja, Jan 8: Nigeria’s police authority in central north state of Plateau Tuesday confirmed 16 people dead in an attack on Shonong community, consisting of four villages in the restive state.
Nine bodies were recovered from the scene of Monday’s attack while seven others were burnt beyond recognition, Xinhua quoted state’s Commissioner of Police Chris Olakpe as saying.
About 20 houses were razed down, he said, adding that the number of people injured in the attack was still being collated.
He said the attack would have been more devastating if not for the prompt intervention of the combined efforts of the police and men of the Special Task Force (STF) who repelled it.
He said no arrest had been made but assured that the police had spread its dragnet on Kaduna axis to ensure that the criminals were arrested.
In Plateau’s capital Jos, the settlers are almost entirely Muslims and the indigenous people are predominantly Christians. Struggle over land ownership, economic resources and political control tends to be expressed not just in ethnic but also religious terms.
Thousands have been killed and hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced internally, just as billions of dollars of property have been destroyed due to the crisis.
Since the end of 2010, security has further deteriorated in the state because of terror attacks and suicide bombings against churches and security targets by Boko Haram, a group mostly responsible for waves of attacks in the northern part of Nigeria.