Nigerian army on alert after sectarian massacre

Witnesses in the village of Dogo Nahawa told Nigeria's Vanguard newspaper that Hausa-Fulani tribesmen descended from the hills, firing shots in the air. When people ran out of their homes, they were set upon with machetes or shot.

Outbreaks of violence are common in Plateau State, where the indigenous Christians have long struggled with immigrant Muslims over resources. Over 300 hundred died in January, when rival gangs of youths clashed in Jos.

A local Christian group said  on Sunday the latest violence was an act of jihad."The attack, yet another jihad and provocation of the Christians, started at about 1.30 a.m. last (Sunday) night," Plateau State Christian Elders Consultative Forum said in a statement.

"Eyewitnesses say the Hausa-Fulani Muslim militants came chanting 'allahu akbar' and broke into homes, cutting human beings, including children and women, with their knives and cutlasses," the statement added.

Acting President Goodluck Jonathan has put the army on alert in the region, but the Christian group said it had lost faith in the military, which it says failed to respond until the attack was over.The massacre was believed to be in reprisal for the violence in Jos at the start of the year.

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