Suspected Fulani herders kill seven in Enugu
Gunmen believed to be ethnic Fulani herdsmen killed at least seven people in a raid on a farming community in southeast Nigeria’s Enugu state, police said on Tuesday.
The attack, which follows a string of attacks over grazing rights in central Nigeria in recent months, took place in the early hours of Monday.
“Suspected Fulani herdsmen attacked Nimbo community in Uzo-Uwani local government area in the early morning hours yesterday,” state police spokesman Ebere Amaraizu told AFP.
“We have recovered seven corpses and six people were injured,” he said.
Amaraizu said the attackers also destroyed a pastor’s house, adding that the police had launched an investigation.
Local media put the toll higher, saying between 20 and 48 people were killed and dozens injured and that scores of homes were destroyed.
They said some 100 Fulani cattle rearers attacked the community with guns, machetes and bows and arrows, shooting sporadically and forcing hundreds to flee to neighbouring villages.
The predominantly Muslim herdsmen have been blamed for a wave of attacks on mainly Christian farmers in parts of central and eastern Nigeria.
Two weeks ago, suspected Fulani herders killed at least 15 villagers and burnt down homes in eastern Taraba state.
In February, hundreds of people were reportedly killed in clashes in February between Fulani heders and Christian farmers in the Agatu area of Benue state.
The largely agrarian Christian communities accuse the Fulani of attempting to grab land from groups considered indigenous to the area.
Fulani leaders say their people face discrimination and are deprived of basic rights, including access to land, education and political office, despite having lived in the area for generations.