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Seven killed in restive Benue

26 March 2014, 15:08

Lagos - Renewed violence between herdsmen and farmers in Benue State has killed seven, police said on Wednesday, just days after a previous attack that claimed 13 lives.

"We recovered seven bodies following the attack on Agena village yesterday (Tuesday)," Benue state spokesman Daniel Ezeala told AFP by telephone.

"It was the usual attack by Fulani herdsmen on Tiv farming communities in the state," he said, adding that the police had quelled the violence.

On Sunday, suspected Fulani herdsmen killed 13 people in Gbajimba, another Tiv farming village.

Earlier this month, some 100 people were killed early this month in nearby Kaduna state when assailants armed with guns and machetes attacked local villages.

Fulani leaders have for years complained about the loss of grazing land crucial to their livelihood, with resentment between the herdsmen and their agrarian neighbours rising over the past decade.

Traders have expressed fears that the unrest in Benue and surrounding states could affect the supply of grain this year, exacerbating an expected dip in stocks due to poor rain forecasts.

Local media said the federal government is to investigate the ongoing problem of grazing rights between the farmers and Fulani herdsmen.

This Day newspaper said the government would also increase the number of grazing lands for the cattle rearers.

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