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Death toll in Nigeria village massacre hits 90

(Xinhua)

08:13, July 09, 2012

JOS, Nigeria July 8 (Xinhua) -- At least 90 people had been killed during attacks on villages in Gashik District of Barkinladi Local government area of central north Nigeria's Plateau State by Sunday afternoon, security sources and Xinhua reporters on ground said.

In a brief text message to Xinhua, the security sources said 50 burnt bodies were uncovered in the early hours of Sunday in a COCIN church in Matsai village.

Xinhua's reporters in the restive city of Jos said 20 persons were killed Sunday afternoon at the mass burial site of victims on Saturday attack, including a serving Senator, Gyang Dantong, representing Plateau north and the majority leader of the State House of Assembly, Gyang Fulani.

Before he was killed on Sunday, the late Fulani told Xinhua on Saturday that at least 20 people were killed on Friday night in Barkinladi by yet to be identified gunmen, who invaded nine villages of the locality.

"Dantong, Fulani and other unidentified officials were all murdered today during a mass burial for scores of people killed by unknown gunmen," the security source said.

Dan Manjan, a legislative aide to the senator, who escaped the attack said scores of injured victims are still receiving treatment in hospitals across the state.

A Xinhua reporter said the Berom people leaving in Jos have taken over major roads in the state.

Plateau State is situated in Nigeria's middle belt where the Muslim-dominated north and the Christian-majority south meet. It has seen years of ethnic tensions and is a major potential flashpoint ahead of the April presidential elections.

The state capital Jos was plunged in a pool of blood on March 7, 2010, when members of local Muslim and Christian communities fought each other in revenge for previous killings.

The state has recently witnessed some bomb blasts and constant rifts between Berom and Fulani herdsmen, with many, especially women and children, murdered in cold blood in the state.

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