A group of unidentified gunmen opened fire on villagers in the Akwanga local government area (LGA) of Nasarawa state on Sunday, April 14. According to local reports, the attack occurred Sunday night (local time) during a ceremony at the village of Numa. At least 16 people were killed and another 14 wounded in the incident. Initial reports indicate that the shooting was related to ongoing intercommunal conflict. Local officials said that additional security forces have been deployed into the area in an effort to prevent reprisal attacks. Further violence in the area is possible in the near term.
Intercommunal clashes are common in Nigeria, especially between nomadic and settled communities. Such clashes have been known to break out in the central Middle Belt region (e.g. in Plateau, Bauchi, Benue, Kaduna, and Nasarawa states) as well as in the south of the country; casualties are regularly reported. Members of Fulani communities regularly clash with ethnic Adara communities. The US Commission on International Religious Freedom has reported that murder rates linked to ethnic violence are higher in Nigeria than those related to terrorism, also a major security concern in the country.
Individuals in Nasarawa state are advised to monitor developments to the situation, remain vigilant, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.
The security environment in Nigeria remains complex. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel.
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