A mob killed two people and burnt mosques and homes in an overnight raid on a mainly Muslim village in north-east Nigeria in the latest such violence to hit the country, residents said on Friday.
“It was around 11.30pm [10.30pm GMT] when a crowd from Imbur attacked Gwalam village, setting fire on homes and mosques,” resident Abubakar Hussaini said, with Imbur a largely Christian area and Gwalam mainly Muslim.
“So far, we have two deaths, and we still don’t know the fate of some residents who fled into the bush to escape the attack.”
The attack occurred in Adamawa state, which is to hold a governorship election on January 21.
Such ethnic and religious violence often occurs around election periods in Nigeria, though some residents believed the attack was in retaliation for the recent killings of Christians in the state claimed by Islamist group Boko Haram.
Gamo Jika, an official in the state for one of Nigeria’s main Islamic organisations, Jama’atu Nasri Islam, confirmed two were killed.
“We have two dead from the attack on Gwalam by some Christians. We are taking inventory of houses burnt in the attack,” he said.
Adamawa state police spokesperson Altine Daniel confirmed the attack but gave no details.
Imbur and Gwalam villages are located in Numan, a flashpoint of sectarian violence.
Nigeria has seen spiralling violence mostly blamed on Boko Haram, whose recent attacks targeting Christians have sparked fears of a civil conflict in a country roughly divided between a mainly Muslim north and mostly Christian south. — AFP