Gunmen kill at least 40 in Nigerian ethnic violence

KANO, Nigeria Thu Mar 13, 2014 3:25pm EDT

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KANO, Nigeria (Reuters) - Gunmen have killed at least 40 people in a series of attacks in the northern Nigerian state of Katsina, in violence between rival ethnic groups over farmland and cattle, police said on Thursday.

"The figure that I have is 40 dead and it was a clash between Hausa people and Fulani herdsmen," Katsina state police commissioner Hurdi Mohammed told Reuters.

Africa's most populous nation often has periods of bloody violence stirred by cattle rustling or ethnic rivalries over fertile farmland. The attack in Katsina was not thought to be linked to an Islamist insurgency raging in the northeast.

(Reporting by Ibrahim Shuaibu and Isaac Abrak; Writing by Joe Brock; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

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