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11 Killed in Suspected Communal Violence in Central Nigeria

Nigerian police say gunmen shot dead 11 people in an attack in central Nigeria suspected to be part of a series of communal violent incidents.

Police spokesman in Plateau state Terna Tyopev said in a press statement that the incident occurred late Sunday in Lopandet Dwei Du village just outside Jos, the capital of Plateau state.

He added that 11 more people were wounded and are now in hospital.

The attack comes a week after suspected herdsmen from the Fulani ethnic group killed eight people including a pastor and his wife in a village near Jos.

Plateau and other parts of central Nigeria have witnessed a spate of killings in recent months as herdsmen in search of grazing land and water for their cattle attack villages inhabited by farmers.

On June 23, more than 100 people were killed when herdsmen carried out simultaneous attacks on several villages in the Barkin Ladi area of Plateau state.

The growing conflict between the mainly Muslim herdsmen and the Christian farming communities further heighten ethnic and religious tensions ahead of Nigeria's general elections scheduled for early next year.

The International Crisis Group, a non-governmental organization working to prevent war, said in a report released recently, that the violence between the herders and farmers has claimed six times more lives than Nigeria's Boko Haram insurgency.