LAGOS: Gunmen overnight raided a northern Nigerian town with a history of sectarian violence and killed at least nine people, a traditional leader said Sunday.
"We are going round the town checking. So far we have nine people dead and 12 wounded," Bukata Zhyadi, a traditional ruler of the mainly Christian Sayawa ethnic group, told AFP.
He blamed the attack in Tafawa Balewa in Bauchi state on the Muslim Hausa-Fulani ethnic group.
He said the attackers hurled home-made hand grenades into houses while people were sleeping and shot at those trying to escape.
"Some were shot while trying to escape and some died as a result of the explosives," he told AFP by phone.
Police said they did not yet have details of the attack.
Tafawa Balewa is located along the so-called middle belt between Nigeria's mainly Muslim north and predominately Christian south.
Clashes set off by a billiards dispute in the same district of Tafawa Balewa left at least 35 dead last year, with mosques and houses burnt.