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Fresh Violence Kills 13 in Central Nigeria

A Nigerian official says at least 13 people are dead after an attack overnight in central Nigeria where dozens have been killed in ethnic and religious violence since August.

A spokesman for the central Plateau state, Pam Ayuba, said Saturday the attack targeted a village near the restive city of Jos.

The attack comes a day after officials said a father and his seven children were killed in the same region.

The United Nations Friday expressed concern about the violence, which it says has killed up to 70 people since August.

A spokesman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights called on Nigeria to deal with the root causes of the fighting, including discrimination, poverty and land disputes, particularly among Muslim and Christian youths in the Jos area.  

The statement also called on local and national government officials to take effective measures to prevent ethnic and religious divisions, including curbing hate speech and increasing reconciliation efforts in communities.  And it said Nigerian forces must respond to outbreaks of violence in an "even-handed manner" to avoid making the situation worse.  

Plateau state is in Nigeria's so-called middle belt, which separates Nigeria's predominately Christian south from the mainly Muslim north.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

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