Nigeria's state police have reported the deaths of dozens of people who they believe were killed as a result of a row between nomadic Fulani herdsmen and farmers.
Commissioner Undie Adie said a search of Berom villages, following clashes between the groups on Saturday, resulted in “86 persons altogether were killed.” The massacre came after days of violence triggered by an attack by ethnic Berom farmers on Muslim Fulani herders, on Thursday.
Adie also disclosed that six people were injured and 50 houses, two cars, and 15 motorcycles were razed. A Xinhua reports said some 11 villages were attacked and a curfew is now in effect.
“The grievous loss of lives and property arising from the killings in Plateau today is painful and regrettable,” Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said, issuing “appeals for calm and assures that no efforts will be spared” in bringing the perpetrators to justice.
The Fulani are believed to be the world's largest semi-nomadic group and are found across West and Central Africa – spanning Senegal and the Central African Republic. The group was responsible for a church shooting in late April which resulted in the deaths of about 16 people.
Buhari, who is a Fulani, has called for calm following the attacks.
The deaths are the latest in an ongoing battle, for land and resources, between the herdsmen and farmers. Government officials said the bodies of the victims are being turned over to their families.
“Operational plans are currently being put in place to secure the affected communities and fish out perpetrators of these crimes. While we pray for God’s guidance through this difficult time, we will do everything humanly possible to secure our state immediately,” Plateau state governor, Simon Lalong, said.