World Bulletin / News Desk
At least 23 civilians and two soldiers are confirmed killed in fresh violence in central Nigeria, an army spokesman said late Wednesday, as the government imposed a curfew on the area.
Brig. Gen. Texas Chukwu said in a statement that seven suspects with heavy weapons have been arrested in the villages of Miango and Rafiki of the Plateau state in connection with the clashes.
“As troops moved in to settle a dispute, the herdsmen opened fire on them. Two soldiers paid the ultimate price, and seven suspects were arrested in connection with the clashes,” according to Chukwu.
“While conducting searches, troops discovered 23 dead bodies at Mararaba Dare shortly before Rafiki village, and many civilians were wounded. Two other soldiers wounded are receiving medical attention at 3 Division Military Hospital and Medical Services. They are stable,” he added.
Rufus Bature, secretary to the Plateau government, said a 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew has been imposed across the affected areas.
“Security agencies in area have been mandated to enforce the curfew,” according to Bature, who said the government is seeking the causes of the violence.
Once a hotbed of ethnic clashes, Plateau had recently experienced peace following various reconciliation efforts by government and independent bodies. But tension has resumed in the state in recent weeks -- apparently fallout from the violence in neighboring Benue, Taraba, and Kaduna, where herders have had a running battle with farmers. Hundreds have died in the clashes.