‘Herdsmen’ invade Niger state mosque, kill imam, 20 worshippers

Gunmen suspected to be herdsmen on Sunday attacked a community mosque in Etogi community, in Mokwa local government area of Niger state, killing 21 villagers, including the imam of the mosque.

The attack occurred while the villagers were observing their early morning prayers.

Some women and children were also injured during the incident.

According to The Nation, the attack was as a result of an earlier disagreement between some youth and members of the affected community.

A herder was said to have been killed.

According to the newspaper, the disagreement was due to the failure of a herder to remit the percentage of the proceed of the land given to them by the villagers which was meant to be paid to the village head.

The herders had maintained that the land was theirs.

The Niger state police command confirmed that the attack was “a reprisal for the death of a herdsman who died as à result of the disagreement between the villagers and the herdsmen.”

Bala Elkana, the state police public relations officer, said 20 people were killed.

He said the killing of the herdsman was addressed but that they decided to retaliate since they were probably not satisfied with the way the matter was handled.

He said eight people who sustained injuries in the attack were recuperating in a nearby hospital.

Elkana, however, stated that peace had been restored in the community.

SOURCE: The Cable