A group of 27 herders have been reported killed and several others injured in what police called a bomb explosion in central Nigeria, a region known for ethnic and religious tensions.
The herders and their cattle were in Rukubi, a village on the border between Nasarawa and Benue states when a bomb exploded in their midst, according to authorities on Wednesday.
“We have established 27 people were killed in the bomb explosion along with several cattle,” said Maiyaki Muhammed Baba, Nasarawa’s police commissioner.
“Many other people were injured and the death toll could mount as searches are still going on,” Baba said, adding that police bomb experts were investigating the origin of the explosion.
But an umbrella group representing herders said the explosion resulted from a military strike.
Nigeria’s air force spokesman did not respond to AFP news agency’s requests for comment .
In Central Nigeria, herders and farmers have been clashing over grazing and water rights.
The decades-long conflict has taken an ethnic and religious dimension in recent years, with most herders Muslims while farmers are largely Christians.