LAGOS, NIGERIA - Armed men killed nine villagers, including children, and torched homes in northern Nigeria on Saturday, official sources said, the latest attack in a surge of violence in the Kaduna region.
"Kaduna state government has confirmed the killing of nine citizens by criminal elements who attacked Nandu in Sanga [district] in early hours of this morning," state Gov. Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai said on Twitter.
"The security agencies have so far recovered nine corpses, including children. The attackers also burnt several houses in the village," he added.
Kaduna sits between Nigeria's majority Muslim north and the predominantly Christian south,
Southern Kaduna is one of many areas blighted by years-long violence between largely Muslim Fulani herders and indigenous Christian farmers over land and water rights.
The clashes have been aggravated by rapid population growth in Africa's most populous country.
Ethnic, religious turn
The violence has recently taken on an ethnic and religious dimension, with politicians accused of inflaming the violence for political ends.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday condemned the latest violence. He urged all involved "to come to terms with the fact that mutual violence has no winners."
"No responsible leader would go to bed happy to see his citizens savagely killing one another on account of ethnic and religious bigotry," he added.