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13 killed in Nigerian village attack

From Christian Purefoy, CNN
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • A Christian village in central Nigeria was attacked Tuesday
  • The attackers were unknown
  • Three houses were attacked

Lagos, Nigeria (CNN) -- An attack on a Christian village in central Nigeria early Tuesday morning left 13 people dead, an official said.

At about midnight, the village of Kuru Station was attacked by unknown assailants, Riyom local government chairman Simon Mwadkon told CNN.

Three houses were attacked and 12 people were killed at the scene, he said. Four others were taken to a hospital, where a thirteenth person died.

"The situation is very tense," but security forces are now on the ground, Mwadkon said.

Nigeria has been rocked by recent religious violence, with the government blaming most of the it on Islamist extremists.

Christmas Eve attacks in the volatile city of Jos claimed at least 31 lives.

Jos is the capital of Plateau state, which lies on a faith-based fault line between Muslim-dominated northern Nigeria and the mainly Christian south.

On March 7, at least 200 Christians villagers were massacred near Jos, and more than 150 Muslims were killed in an attack in a nearby town, Kuru Karama, on January 19.

In Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation, more than 13,500 people have died in religious or ethnic clashes since the end of military rule in 1999, Human Rights Watch said in a report last year.

There have been other deadly sectarian clashes in Nigeria over the years, including one outbreak in Jos in September 2001 that left about 1,000 dead, Human Rights Watch said.