19 killed in attack on Nigerian village

Men armed with guns and machetes attacked a village in North-west Nigeria early yesterday, shooting and slashing 19 people to death as they went from house to house posing as visitors.

The attack happened in Lingyado village in Zamfara state, a rural region near Nigeria's border with Niger. About 150 attackers surrounded the village and roamed between compounds, shooting residents who came out to greet them, village elder Husaini Dansadau said.

Some people fled into cornfields when the shooting began. Some of the gunmen shouted that they would rape the women they found, Ahmad Tsauri Lingyado, another witness, said. At least 19 people died and seven, including women and children, were wounded, police said.

It appeared the communal clash was a reprisal for an attack in August. Witnesses said the attackers appeared to be cattle herders from the Hausa-Fulani ethnic group, which dominates Nigeria's Muslim North. Lingyado is a village of Hausa-Fulani settlers.

Communal violence regularly occurs in Nigeria. Typically, the violence cuts across different ethnic or religious groups, though it finds its base in economic or political strife. AP

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