Dozens are feared killed in fresh attacks on Monday 11 April, 2016, by suspected Fulani militants on several villages in the Gashak area of the Nigerian central state of Taraba.

Local media report that at least 44 have been killed (though the exact number of casualties is yet to be confirmed), with a number of houses and domestic animals burnt to ashes.

An unknown number of people have reportedly fled to neighbouring Cameroon, as well as nearby local council areas.

The incident was confirmed by Police Public Relations Officer Joseph Kwaji. “It is true that there was an attack by the herdsmen, but for now I don’t have the full details of the crisis, so I cannot tell you the number of casualties now,” he said.

Recent attacks by Fulani herdsmen have left hundreds dead and led thousands to flee from the largely Christian areas of Benue and Taraba States, which form part of Nigeria’s farming belt.

Such attacks have features long familiar to Nigerians: ethnic Fulani cattle herders, largely Muslim, moving in on farmers, largely Christian.

The long-running land conflict is frequently framed in economic terms, but it also has distinctive religious contours.

A recent in-depth report suggests that these atrocities against Christians can be described as “ethnic/religious cleansing”, with features of “genocide”.

According to an aid worker in Benue, the situation in the Middle Belt is comparable to the damage caused by Boko Haram in northeast Nigeria, but has drawn little international attention.

Source: The (Nigerian) Guardian