ABUJA, June 25, (Xinhua) - At least 86 people
have been confirmed killed following a coordinated attack on several villages
in Nigeria's central state of Plateau, the police said on Sunday.
The attack by suspected gunmen late Saturday left six persons severely injured and 50 houses, two cars, and 15 motorcycles completely razed, the police said.
A police spokesman said the cause of the attack was unknown.
The coordinated attack mostly affected Razat, Ruku, Nyarr, Kura and Gana-Ropp villages of Gashish District in Barkin Ladi area of Plateau, Terna Tyopev, the spokesman for Plateau police, said.
However, a total of 11 villages were attacked by the gunmen.
Tyopev said the remains of most dead victims had been released to their families for burial while some were deposited at a local morgue.
He said the police had launched an investigation to apprehend the suspects.
A dusk to dawn curfew has been imposed on the affected area due to fears that the violence might escalate, the Plateau government said.
Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong, who described the attack as "devastating," has charged security agencies to double their efforts toward ending the attacks on rural communities in the state.
Plateau State is located in Nigeria's middle belt where the Muslim-dominated north and the Christian-majority south meet.
On March 7, 2010, members of local Muslim and Christian communities fought each other in revenge for previous killings.
The state has witnessed some bomb blasts and constant rifts between locals and Fulani herdsmen, with many, especially women and children have been murdered.