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Middle East

Ethnic clashes kill 34 in Nigeria

A man weeps as he joins parents of kidnapped school girls during a meeting with the Borno State governor in Chibok, Maiduguri, Borno State April 22, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer

KANO, Nigeria: Clashes between rival tribes have left at least 34 people dead with homes and barns torched in a village in central Nigeria, the state government told AFP on Sunday.

The violence erupted Saturday when a militia from the Eggon tribe attacked the Gwandara village of Egan following a dispute over farmland, said Nasarawa state spokesman Sani Musa Mairiga.

"All the victims were from Gwandara tribe whose village came under sudden attack from Ombatse cult members from Eggon tribe," Mairiga said.

"So far 34 people have been killed in the violence with several others injured."

Several homes and barns were burnt in the attack, sparked by a farming dispute in which an Eggon man was injured, he said.

Armed police were deployed to stop the bloodshed, Mairiga said.

Ethnic disputes linked to land are frequent in central Nigeria, despite efforts to mend relations between the region's different groups.

The fighting often has religious overtones, pitting Christian farmers against nomadic Muslim herder communities, although in Nawasara state the rival ethnicities are made up of both Christians and Muslims.

 

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