Nigerian Death Toll Rises as Two Lawmakers Killed at Mass Burial
Nigerian gunmen attacked and killed two lawmakers who were attending a mass burial ceremony in Plateau State for victims of an earlier attack by Muslim herdsmen, military officials said.
Gyang Dalyop, a member of the country’s Senate, and state lawmaker Gyang James Fulani were ambushed yesterday, said Salisu Mustapha, the spokesman for the military joint task force in the area. The burial was held between Riyom and Barikin Ladi, the sites of the earlier killings.
“A curfew has been imposed in the troubled areas by the state government,” Mustapha said in a telephone interview yesterday. At least 37 people were killed in clashes on July 7 when gunmen attacked Kankuru villages near Jos in Plateau State, he said in a statement handed to reporters.
For more than a decade, the state has been the scene of ethnic and religious rivalries over land and power between the mainly Christian indigenous population and Muslim migrants.
Islamist sect Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for several suicide bomb attacks on churches in Plateau State this year, prompting a Christian backlash against Muslims. Nigeria’s population of more than 164 million is split almost equally between Christians in the south and Muslims in the north.
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