Gunmen kill 45 in Nigeria as farmer-herder conflict escalates

Internally displaced persons at a camp occupied largely by women and children affected by violent clashes between farmers and herders on the outskirts of Makurdi, Nigeria on Jan 3, 2018. PHOTO: AFP

LAGOS, NIGERIA (BLOOMBERG) - Unidentified gunmen killed at least 45 people in an attack in a central Nigerian region that has been plagued by violence between farmers and herder communities.

The attackers also burned down homes in the district of Birnin Gwari, about 200 kilometres northwest of the capital, Abuja, Kaduna state police chief Austin Iwar said by mobile phone text message.

Additional police and soldiers have been deployed to the area, the Kaduna state government said in an e-mailed statement.

A spiralling conflict between mainly Muslim herders and predominantly Christian crop farmers has left more than 1,000 dead since June.

President Muhammadu Buhari's failure to address the crisis has drawn criticism of his administration as he prepares to campaign for re-election in a vote scheduled for February.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.