Nigeria: 52 dead in ethnic clashes; emergency declared

The government held an emergency meeting with security officials and is looking at other channels to stop the conflict.

Abuja: At least 52 people, including women and children, have been killed in clashes between two rival ethnic communities in southeastern Ebonyi state of Nigeria, as President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in parts of the country hit by a violent Islamist insurgency.

A spokesman for Ebonyi state government said the clashes erupted between the Ezza and Ezillo people of Ishielu district, the two groups that are often in conflict, yesterday.

Local media said that 52 two people, including women and children, were killed in the resurgence of the Ezza/Ezillo inter-communal strife in Ebonyi that had reared its head in 2008 and was contained in 2010.

It said a divisional police officer, children and women were among those killed.

Governor Martin Elechi visited the region along with state Commissioner of Police Adeniji Adeleke.

The Governor urged the villagers to remain calm, promising that the government would use every means to trace the perpetrators of the heinous crime.

In another development, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in regions bedevilled by attacks carried out by radical Muslim sect Boko Haram and ordered all land and sea borders closed in most of the affected areas.

During a nationwide broadcast, he declared a state of emergency in parts of Borno, Yobe, Plateau and Niger states.

He said the chief of defence staff and the inspector general of the police force would take necessary actions concerning the affected areas and announced setting up of a counter-terror group within the armed forces to handle the issues of terrorism.

Bureau Report