No fewer than 66 persons have been killed in a fresh outbreak of violence in Kajuru local government area of Kaduna state.
The killings reportedly took place in eight settlements across the local government area. Women and children were listed among the victims.
The statement said security agencies had been deployed in the area, while some arrests have been made.
The statement did not give details of how the incident took place, but it was learnt that the killings occurred following a bloody clash between the Adara and Fulani communities in the area.
Sources said the problem started on Sunday night when gunmen invaded Angwan Barde, an Adara community, and killed 11 people, with several others injured.
On Monday, angry youth in the community were said to have embarked on reprisal attacks, leading to the bloodshed.
“Security agencies today reported the recovery of 66 bodies that were killed in attacks by criminal elements on various dispersed hamlets in the Maro Gida and Iri axis of Kajuru LGA,” read a statement issued by Sam Aruwan, spokesman of the governor.
“The settlements affected include Ruga Bahago, Ruga Daku, Ruga Ori, Ruga Haruna, Ruga Yukka Abubakar, Ruga Duni Kadiri, Ruga Shewuka and Ruga Shuaibu Yau.
“Among the victims were 22 children and 12 women. Four wounded persons rescued by the security agencies are now receiving medical attention.
“Government condemns the attacks and commiserates with the families of the victims. Security agencies have been deployed to the area and arrests have been made. Government urges community, traditional and religious leaders in the area to encourage residents to avoid any reprisal attacks and to leave the matter in the hands of the security and law enforcement agencies. The killings are being investigated and residents are assured that indicted persons will be prosecuted.
“Residents of Kaduna State are enjoined to uphold peace and harmony, shun violence and allow the elections to be held in an atmosphere of calm. Any suspicious activity should be reported to the security agencies in person.”