At least 12 killed in Nigeria after gunmen attack villagers

ABUJA, Nov 16 (Reuters) - Gunmen have killed at least 12 people in an attack on a village in the northern Nigerian state of Plateau, residents and the state governor said on Wednesday, the latest deadly incident fuelled by growing pressure on land resources in the country.

Violence between farmers and pastoralists has become increasingly common in recent years as population growth leads to an expansion of the area dedicated to farming, leaving less land available for open grazing by nomads' herds of cattle.

A local resident, Bernard Matur, said the gunmen attacked Maikatako village, in Plateau state, on Monday evening, killing at least 12 people.

Matur said the unprovoked attack was to take over their land, which herdsmen have done in neighbouring villages.

Governor Simon Bako Lalong said 11 people were killed in the attack. He added that the rising incidence of attacks and destruction of farm crops, livestock and other properties within the state was becoming worrisome and needed to be checked.

Last month, clashes between herdsmen and farmers in the Nigerian state of Benue left at least 23 people dead.

Reporting by Camillus Eboh; Writing by Chijioke Ohuocha; Editing by Alex Richardson

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