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Nigeria militia kills 20 villagers

LAGOS, Nigeria -- More than 20 people were killed and scores injured in an attack on a central Nigerian village by an ethnic Hausa-Fulani militia, police said on Tuesday.

Police said the miltia attacked Dagwom Turu village in the Jos South local government area of Plateau state on Sunday.

They said it was an apparent reprisal attack for the killing of ethnic Hausa-Fulani in religious riots in the state.

More than 500 people were killed in three days of Christian-Muslim fighting in September in the city of Jos, Plateau state capital, and surrounding districts.

Plateau state police command spokesman Ali Yusuf told Reuters: "At least 15 people were killed and scores wounded after some armed Fulanis invaded Dagwom Turu village.

"Some of those injured died in hospital, bringing the death toll to more than 20 so far.

"It was a revenge attack by Fulani settlers who were probably trying to avenge the losses they suffered in the September fighting in Jos."

A complex cycle of ethnic and religious bloodletting has gripped Nigeria since the end of military rule in 1999.

The influence of the Hausa-Fulani, one of Nigeria's main tribes, is a source of resentment among the indigenous peoples in the central state, but the groups had managed to co-exist peacefully until last September.

Since the September religious riots relations between the indigenous peoples, who are mainly Christian or animist, and the Muslim Hausa-Fulani, have remained hostile.




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