ABUJA, April 16 (Xinhua) -- At least seven people were killed and many houses were razed in a violent attack which erupted overnight in Nigeria's northeastern state of Taraba, local police said on Wednesday.
State police spokesperson Joseph Kuwaji said an area known as Wukari Town came under intense attack by irate youths. Irked by the recent attacks attributed to herdsmen, the youths, he said, went on rampage in the area mostly populated by the shepherds.
Recently, hundreds of people had been allegedly killed by herdsmen, who were accused of fomenting troubles in various communities across the northern part of the West African country.
"I can confirm to you that seven persons died in the violence, while many others had various degrees of injuries," said Kuwaji, while confirming the incident as a reprisal attack on the herdsmen.
The crisis was neither religious nor political, added the senior police officer. He said a detachment of security operatives had been deployed to restore normalcy in the restive community.
According to him, Taraba State governor Garba Umar had imposed a 24-hour curfew on the community, since the latest violence erupted on Tuesday night. But in spite of the curfew, violence was yet to reduce in the town as fighting continued between the warring parties, said Umar Waziri, state coordinator of the Red Cross.
Waziri told Xinhua in Jalingo, the state capital, that the fighting, which snowballed to Wednesday afternoon, has made it quite difficult to ascertain the actual figure of casualties.
Nigeria, with a population of approximately 170 million, is facing major security challenges which are crippling economic activities in some states. The northern part of the country is plagued by violence, including attacks by the Boko Haram sect. The southern part is said to be a hub of criminal activities including oil theft or bunkering, kidnapping and armed robbery attacks.
Communal clashes often paralyze commercial activities in the central state of Plateau, which shares borders with many northern states, whereas pockets of violence in the north central state of Benue are mostly attributed to herdsmen.