More than 200 people were killed in Nigeria’s Plateau State over the weekend in the latest deadly clash between famers and cattle herders, Reuters reports.
Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari met with “representatives and leaders of affected communities” in Plateau State Tuesday (June 26) to discuss the matter.
Buhari, who has been criticized for his response to the violence, which is suspected to be perpetrated by Fulani herders, announced the deployment of more police forces in Plateau including two reported police surveillance helicopters, five armored personnel carriers, and extra officers. The country’s national Emergency Management Agency are also providing “relief materials” to affected communities.
Buhari offered his “deepest condolences” to those affected. “The grievous loss of lives [and] property arising from the killings in Plateau is painful and regrettable,” he said in a statement.
“We will not rest until all murderers and criminal elements and their sponsors are incapacitated and brought to justice.”
A handful of arrests have already been made according to Buhari's Twitter account.
The violence stems from ongoing strife between Muslim herders and Christian farmers that resulted in hundreds being killed in Lagos earlier in the year, and repeated protests, some of which have called for Buhari to step down.
Although initial reports placed the Plateau death toll at 86, government officials have yet to release an official number of fatalities. However, authorities confirmed just under a dozen fatalities on Saturday (June 23).“The gunmen invaded the villages on Saturday and killed several people, “ police spokesman Terna Tyopev said according to Nigeria’s Daily Post. “Based on the number of corpses recovered and buried, we can confirm 11 killed.”
Tyopev also said that family members had buried some of the victims “before policeman arrived.”
Unfortunately, Nigeria has made international news this week, under tragic circumstances. In addition to deadly violent outbreaks in Plateau, an oil tanker exploded during rush hour traffic on Thursday (June 28) killing at least nine people and scorching 54 car, according to CNN.
Read President Buhari's statement on the explosion below: