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22 May, 2024 11:21

Gunmen kill dozens in Nigerian village

Attackers on motorbikes raided a mining community in the resource-rich state of Plateau
Gunmen kill dozens in Nigerian village

Almost 40 people have been killed by gunmen on motorbikes who launched a violent raid on a mining community in north-central Nigeria, local authorities reported on Tuesday.  

The assault in the Wase district of the state of Plateau marked a continuation of violence in a region plagued by resource disputes and intercommunal clashes.  

Musa Ibrahim Ashoms, the state commissioner for information in Plateau, detailed the attack to AFP, stating that armed assailants stormed the Zurak mining community, firing sporadically and setting homes ablaze. 

“We are trying to comb the area to see whether we have more casualties or people with bullet wounds,” he said. 

Locals have told Reuters that the death toll is much higher than was stated. 

The state of Plateau boasts significant deposits of zinc and lead and is known for its tin mining industry. It is also situated on the boundary separating Nigeria’s mostly Muslim north from its predominantly Christian south and therefore frequently witnesses sectarian violence. Deteriorating climate conditions have heightened these tensions, leading to increased disputes over grazing land, water resources, and access to precious metal deposits. 

In January, religious buildings were torched, over 50 people were killed, and thousands displaced in clashes in the town of Mangu in Plateau. 

The month before, attackers killed at least 140 residents in a two-day assault that targeted more than a dozen communities.