- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 16, 2014

Gunmen attacked three Christian villages and killed more than 100 civilians in central Nigeria, government officials said Sunday.

Police confirmed the raids by Muslim Fulani herdsman late on Friday on the villages of Ugwar Sankwai, Ungwan Gata and Chenshyi, in Kaduna state, but declined to give a death toll, Reuters reported.

Hundreds of thatched-roof huts were also set on fire.

Thousands have been killed in recent years in competition for land and water between the Muslim herdsmen and Christian farmers across Nigeria’s Middle Belt.

The unrest is not linked to the insurgency in northeast Nigeria by the al Qaeda-linked Boko Haram, which wants to impose sharia law in the country, Reuters said.

“Fulani gunmen came across from neighboring Plateau state and just opened fire on the villagers at around 11 p.m.,” said Daniel Anyip, vice chairman of the Kaura local government authority. “We are still picking bodies out of the bush but so far there are more than 100 killed.”