KADUNA, Nigeria (Reuters) - Gunmen have killed six people in a village in Nigeria’s northern Kaduna state, a government official said on Thursday, in a region with a history of inter-ethnic violence.
The attack late on Wednesday was in a village in the Zango Katak region in Kaduna state, witnesses said, an area at the heart of post-election violence last April that left hundreds dead and thousands displaced.
Largely Muslim Northern Nigeria has been beset by violence for more than two years and it worsened when President Goodluck Jonathan, a Christian southerner, won the election last year.
The bulk of the unrest has been caused by Islamist sect Boko Haram but religious and ethnic tensions on the dividing lines between the mostly Muslim north and largely Christian south still stir up unrelated deadly clashes.
“Six people, including two pregnant women, were shot inside their houses and set ablaze, while a 2-year-old baby is injured,” Domininc Yahaya, Zango Kataf local government chairman, told Reuters.
“Youths in the community are restive and threatened reprisal attacks but we are trying to calm them down as we hold meetings with their leaders and various security agencies,” he added.
The police confirmed the attack but gave no details on casualties. One witness said he heard the gunfire at around 2200 GMT on Wednesday and saw burnt corpses in the morning.
Boko Haram, which is based in the northeast of Nigeria, wants to impose sharia, Islamic law, more widely in a country of 160 million split roughly equally between Christians and Muslims.
Reporting by Isaac Abrak and Garba Mohammed; Writing by Joe Brock; Editing by Alison Williams