Suspected herdsmen attack Niger community, kill 21


A gang of gunmen suspected to be herdsmen late Saturday attacked Etogi community, Gbara ward in Mokwa local council of Niger State killing 21 people.An eyewitness told The Guardian that the attack was a result of an earlier disagreement between some Fulani youth and members of the affected community, which led to the death of one herdsman.

The herders who maintained a settlement near the community were offered land to farm on the agreement that certain percentage of the proceeds of their business would go to the village head.

However, there was disagreement when the herders failed to remit the agreed percentage this year, while claiming that the land in question now belongs to them, a claim that led to a serious argument, which led to the death of one of the herdsmen.

Enraged by the death of one of them, the herders were said to have mobilised support from their kinsmen elsewhere and launched an attack on the community mosque, when Muslims were observing their early morning prayers.

A source, Malam Mairo Mohammed told our reporter on phone that the attackers killed everybody in the mosque, including the Imam.Women and children who were woken by the commotion were said to have fled to different directions with some of them sustaining injuries in the melee.

The state police command Public Relations Officer, DSP Bala Elkana confirmed the report that over 20 people were killed during the assault.He said the attack was a reprisal to the earlier killing of a herder by the villagers.

“The crisis on the death of a herder was managed, but it appears they were not satisfied and decided to retaliate,” DSP Elkana stated.He added that eight people sustained injuries during the attack and are being treated in a nearby hospital.

He, however, disclosed that mobile policemen have been deployed to the affected community, while officers of the Department of State Services and the command’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID) were also on ground to protect residents of the area.

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