23 people killed as herders, farmers clash in north-central Nigeria: Official

Clashes among herders and farmers in Nigeria's north-central Benue State have led to the death of 23 people, an official said Friday.

Paul Hembah, a security advisor to the Benue State governor, told Anadolu Agency the clashes started following the invasion of the Gbeji farming community at Ukum district and subsequent shooting on Wednesday.

Scores of villagers were injured in nearly two hours of clashes over grazing on farmlands, the official added.

"We have discovered more dead bodies. Those confirmed now are 23 and of course, the casualties may go higher as we comb the bushes," he said.

Policemen and soldiers have reached the scene to prevent the clashes from spreading to neighboring communities.

"The crisis started on Tuesday when five Fulani herdsmen were attacked and killed in three separate incidents and their cows rustled,” said Benue Police Commissioner Wale Abbas.

The north-central Benue State in 2021 enacted a law which forbids open grazing by cattle.

Clashes over cattle grazing and use of water are recurrent in the country's north-central states.

Source: Anadolu Agency