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May 15, 12:06 PM EDT

20 killed in mosque attack in Nigeria over land dispute


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20 killed in mosque attack in Nigeria over land dispute

WARRI, Nigeria (AP) -- Police in Nigeria say at least 20 people are dead after a suspected reprisal attack on a village.

Niger State police spokesman Bala Elkana said Monday that the Etogi community mosque had been targeted the day before during morning prayers.

The killings are believed to be in retaliation for the death of a herdsman who was killed in a disagreement over grazing land. The herders have refused to pay a tax to the village and are claiming ownership of the land.

Land disputes are common in Nigeria, pitting neighboring communities against each other and frequently resulting in deadly clashes and reprisal attacks.

More than 400 people have been killed in clashes between Fulani herdsmen and farmers in north-central Nigeria over the past two years.

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