11 killed, churches razed in central Nigeria

Abuja: At least 11 people were killed and two churches razed by gunmen who stormed two communities in central Nigeria’s Plateau State Wednesday, local media cited security sources as saying.

Six civilians and five security personnel lost their lives in the attack on Gako and Tanjol communities, both located in the restive Riyom area, Xinhua reported.

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Police said only six dead bodies had been found so far.

The cause of the attack was still unknown, although residents said it might be a reprisal attack following unsolved ethnic-religious violence plaguing the state.

According to state police spokesperson Dominic Esin, five other people were injured as the unknown gunmen went on a rampage and razed two churches.

No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack.

Plateau State is situated in Nigeria’s middle belt, where the Muslim-dominated north and the Christian-majority south meet.

In March 2010, the state capital Jos witnessed religious crises between members of local Muslim and Christian communities in revenge for previous killings.

More than 100 people were killed May 20 in a pair of bombings at a bus terminal and the adjacent market in Jos.

Nigeria is currently grappling with security challenges carried out mainly by the insurgency of Boko Haram, which seeks to enshrine the Islamic Sharia law in the constitution.