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Gunmen kill 10 villagers in Kaduna

Gunmen have killed 10 people in attacks on two Christian-dominated villages in the northern Nigerian state of Kaduna, a hotbed of ethnic and religous strife, officials said Tuesday.

On Christmas Eve, six people were killed when gunmen suspected to be ethnic Fulani Muslims stormed Ungwan Mailafiya, they said.

The killings followed an attack in nearby Nindem late Friday where gunmen opened fire on a congregation, killing four and injuring 10, said a local lawmaker.

“While we were mourning the deaths at Nindem … the security personnel received distress calls of another attack at Ungwan Mailafiya”, parliamentarian Shehu Nicholas Garba said in a statement.

“By daybreak on Christmas, six persons had been confirmed killed, including a child of about six years old, and many others injured,” he said.

A spokesman from the state government said troops had been deployed to prevent further violence.

Southern Kaduna has for three decades been locked in tit-for-tat killings between indigenous Christian farming communities and Muslim Hausa and Fulani settlers.

The dispute was originally over land and grazing rights but has lately degenerated into ethnic and religious conflicts, leaving hundreds dead.

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