Gunmen have stormed a village in Nigeria’s central Plateau state, leaving some 30 people feared dead, say local people and officials.

Dozens of houses were torched in the attack on Shonong, in the Riyom area.

Cattle were killed or taken away by the perpetrators, suspected to be Hausa-Fulani herdsmen, witnesses told AFP news agency.

Thousands have died in tit-for-tat ethnic violence in Plateau state in recent years.

Much of the violence is blamed on land disputes between semi-nomadic Muslim Fulani herdsmen and mainly Christian Berom farmers in the area, where Nigeria’s predominantly Muslim north meets its Christian-majority south.

Local people and officials were quoted as putting the death toll from Monday morning’s attack at 30, including many women and children.

But the state police chief told AFP five had died, and investigations were continuing.

An MP representing Riyom – some 50km (30 miles) south-west of the state capital Jos – confirmed the attack and said it had also left “many… lying in the hospital”.

Daniel Dem questioned why soldiers had not prevented the raid.

Several thousand people have been killed in similar clashes since 2010, but rights groups say the government has done little to stop the violence.  BBC