At least 113 people were killed in attacks by armed groups between Saturday night and Monday in several villages in Nigeria's central Plateau state, local authorities said Monday (December 25th).

"The hostilities that started on Saturday were continuing on Monday morning," Monday Kassah, the chairman of the government council of Bokkos, a district in the region that has been plagued by religious and ethnic tensions for several years, told AFP.

"At least 113 bodies have been recovered," he added, while the death toll given by the army on Sunday evening was 16.

And "more than 300 people" were injured and transferred to hospitals in Bokkos, Jos and Barkin Ladi, Kassah said.

Armed groups, locally described as "bandits", attacked "no less than 20 villages" between Saturday night and Monday morning, he said, stressing that "the attacks were well coordinated".

The protests began in the constituency of Bokkos and then spilled over into the neighbouring constituency of Barkin Ladi where "30 dead were found", according to Danjuma Dakil, its president.

On Sunday, Plateau State Governor Caleb Mutfwang called the armed action "barbaric, brutal and unjustified."

"Proactive measures will be taken by the government to curb the ongoing attacks on innocent citizens," Gyang Bere, the governor's spokesman, said at the time.

Pistol fire could still be heard late Sunday afternoon, according to a local source.

The NGO Amnesty International reacted to the violence on its X account, judging that "the Nigerian authorities have always failed in their attempts to put an end to these frequent attacks in Plateau State".

Amnesty International condemns the killing of over 70 people in fresh attacks by gunmen on some communities of Bokkos and parts of Barkin-Ladi LGA of Plateau State. The attacks that started in the night of Saturday also left dozens of people injured and displaced.

— Amnesty International Nigeria (@AmnestyNigeria) December 25, 2023

People in Nigeria's northwestern and central regions live in terror of attacks by jihadist groups and criminal gangs who loot villages and kill or abduct their inhabitants.

With AFP

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