ABUJA, (Xinhua): At least 31 people were killed in separate weekend attacks by gunmen in northeast and central-north Nigeria, military and local government officials said Sunday.
Five villagers and an assailant were killed in an attack on Kumbur village in Jos, capital of the central-north Plateau State, Muhamadu Zakari, chairman of a local government council, told reporters.
The attackers also injured several others, Zakari said.
Salisu Mustapha, a spokesperson for the Special Task Force (STF), also confirmed the attack, saying STF personnel, who rushed to the scene of the attack, killed one of the fleeing assailants.
Mustapha said the attackers had wanted to use the village route to launch a heavy raid on Wase district, 100 km from Jos, adding that they were, however, repelled by the STF.
Peace had been restored to the affected area, he said.
Plateau State is situated in Nigeria’s middle belt where the Muslim-dominated north and the Christian-majority south meet. The state capital Jos was plunged in a pool of blood on March 7, 2010, when members of local Muslim and Christian communities fought each other in revenge for previous killings.
The state has witnessed some bomb blasts and constant rifts between Berom and Fulani herdsmen, with many, especially women and children, murdered in cold blood.
Also on Sunday, the military confirmed that at least 25 people were killed in attacks in the northeast Borno State, a flashpoint of attacks perpetrated by the Boko Haram sect since 2009, when it launched an insurgency targeting churches, security facilities, schools and villages.
Haruna Mohammed Sani, spokesperson of a multinational joint task force of soldiers from Niger, Chad and Nigeria, said a group of gunmen, believed to be members of Boko Haram, opened fire on civilians and security personnel in Dawashi district of Kukawa, which borders Chad.
“A group of local security workers from Maiduguri stormed the Dawashi village in search of Boko Haram members when the suspected sect members came out fully armed and fired sporadic shots that killed over 20 innocent civilians, while a dozen others sustained serious gunshot injuries,” he said.
Maiduguri, capital of Borno State, is known as a stronghold of Boko Haram, a militant group whose name means “Western education is forbidden.”
Most of the victims were fishermen and traders who plied their business in a riverine community, Sani added.
According to the military officer, the wounded victims are currently being treated at the headquarters of the multinational joint task force in Baga, a town on the shores of Lake Chad.
“A heavily armed quick reaction group from the multinational joint task force had been deployed to ensure the safety of lives and property in the area,” he said.
Meanwhile, Sagir Musa, another spokesperson of the joint task force, said in a statement that five more people were killed in a separate attack in Mainok, miles away from Maiduguri.
Baga was the scene of a clash between the multinational force and Boko Haram members that killed dozens of people in April.
On May 14, President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states, ordering in extra troops to fight the sect.