Raids and reprisal attacks have left 58 people dead in Christian villages near a Nigerian city where authorities have struggled to contain religious violence, officials said Sunday.
Assailants launched “sophisticated attacks” on several villages near Jos early Saturday, said Mustapha Salisu, spokesman for a special taskforce made up of policemen and soldiers deployed in the area to curb years of violence.
“They came in hundreds,” Salisu said. “Some had (police) uniforms and some even had bulletproof vests.”
He said the special taskforce fought back for hours and lost two policemen in the battle. Salisu initially said that 37 people were killed including 14 civilians and 21 assailants.
However, late Sunday, Nigerian Red Cross official Andronicus Adeyemo said aid workers had counted 56 dead and more than 300 displaced people from the attacks. He did not give a breakdown.