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*50 Killed In Nigeria Communal Clashes
Over 50 people were killed Saturday in deadly clashes between two communities in Ebonyi State, Nigeria. The communal clashes were not linked to the series of bloody attacks by Boko Haram, an Islamic sect, which prompted the declaration of a state of emergency on Saturday in some parts of four northern states. Land dispute had existed between the two communities, Ezza and Ezilo for several years.
"Upwards of 50 people were killed when a group of people from Ezza community attacked residents of neighbouring Ezilo community over a land dispute. The dispute between the two communities, which started in 2008, was believed to have been settled until the latest conflagration. A group of people from Ezza invaded Ezilo and attacked them, killing over 50 people there." a government spokesman told newsmen. ( Continues below….. )
John Elu, Ebonyi State police spokesman, put the death toll between 38 to 40, but said the figure may be higher. "We estimate that between 38 and 40 people, including a senior police officer going to work, were killed in the clashes, although we don't have an accurate figure for those killed because some of them were hacked to death in the bushes; the death toll could be higher." Elu said in a press statement.
Guns and machetes were freely used during the clashes. Several homes and properties were destroyed and blood spilled all over. Attackers set fire to many houses, shops, offices, petrol tankers and a mill. Riot police have been deployed to the two communities for restoration of law and order. No arrests have been made at the time of this report. Ebonyi State governor, Martin Elechi, and the state police chief visited the scene Saturday to inspect the extent of damage.
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