JOS – (AFP) – Ten people were killed in two separate overnight attacks outside the volatile Nigerian city of Jos, a local official said, leading angry residents to block roads to the area on Monday.
Local council chairman Emmanuel Lomang alleged that four identity cards and a cap belonging to soldiers were found at the scene of the killings, fueling rumours that troops may have been involved.
“Seven people were killed at Heipang while three were killed at Foron,” near Jos, the restive capital of Plateau State, Lomang told AFP.
He said both incidents happened around 12:30 am when the attackers opened fire on their victims after storming the two villages.
Army spokesman Captain Charles Ekeocha confirmed in a statement that seven members of a family were killed during the Heipang attack.
“At about 12.30 am on August 15 there was an attack at Heipang area of Barkin Ladi local government area. A house belonging to Mr. Nnaji… was attacked and seven members of the family were killed,” the statement said.
Local residents in the area opened fire on troops who went there to repel the attack, according to the statement. Soldiers shot one man who was armed with a rifle, and he later died on the way to the hospital, it said.
Angry residents have blocked roads leading to the area, an AFP correspondent reported.
Jos and the surrounding region have been hit by waves of clashes between Christian and Muslim ethnic groups that have left hundreds dead in recent years.
The region lies in Nigeria’s so-called Middle Belt between the mainly Muslim north and predominately Christian south of Africa’s most populous nation.