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Curfew in Central Nigeria State After New Attacks

In this image released on Thursday, Nov. 18, 2021, a Christian victim of a Fulani attack in Plateau State. (CSI/news aktuell via AP Images)

JOS — Nigeria imposed a 24-hour curfew in a north-central region after more attacks killed at least another nine people.

Plateau Governor Caleb Mutfwang imposed a 24-hour ban on movement, Sunday, after more attacks in Mangu district in Plateu State, over the weekend.

"Movements within the Local Government have been banned until further notice except for security personnel and persons on essential duties," his spokesman Gyang Bere said in a statement.

The ban follows two months of clashes between nomadic herders and pastoral farmers that community leaders say left more than 200 dead.

In the latest unrest, gunman raided villages in the Sabon Gari area of Mangu on Sunday, killing at least nine people in a "reprisal" attack, regional military spokesman Major James Oya told AFP.

Confirming Sunday's attack, a community leader, Jerry Datim, said gunmen attacked his village, Sabon Gari in Mangu, burning houses and destroying many other properties.

"So far, we have recovered nine dead bodies; we are still searching because some people are still missing," he said.

Farmers blame Muslim Fulani herders for attacks on mostly Christian villages though herdsman associations dismiss those charges and say their communities are also raided.

The State chairman of Miyyeti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), Nuru Abdullahi, said eight Fulani settlements were attacked on Friday, leaving 15 people dead.

He blamed security forces for the raid. However, army spokesman Oya said he was still confirming details of that attack.

Northwest and central Nigeria have long struggled with violence between nomadic cattle ranchers and settled farmers who accuse herdsmen of invading farmland with their grazing.

Those clashes have spiraled into broader criminality as communities form armed militias to raid rival villages and carry out cattle rustling, looting and mass kidnappings for ransom.

New President Bola Ahmed Tinubu says tackling insecurity is a priority as the armed forces battle jihadists in the northeast, bandit militias and intercommunal violence in the northwest and separatist agitation in the south.