Armed robbers opened fire on a group of people as they left prayers at a mosque in the northern Nigerian state of Kaduna today, killing about 20, a military spokesman said.
“It is clear case of armed robbery” Lieutenant Colonel Sani Usman told AFP, confirming the shooting outside the mosque in the village of Dogo Dawa.
“The last time I spoke with my (contact) in the area, he said it was 20 people dead.” Religiously divided Kaduna has seen waves of sectarian violence in recent months.
Suicide bombings at three churches in June that were claimed by Islamist group Boko Haram sparked reprisal violence by Christian mobs who killed dozens of their Muslim neighbours, burning some of their victims’ bodies.
Muslim groups also formed mobs and killed several Christians.
Usman however told AFP that the latest attack was linked to a running feud between a group of “bandits” and a vigilante group in Dogo Dawa.
The thieves had tried to rob some residents earlier in the week but were repelled, he said, adding that the robbers returned to the village on Sunday and carried out what he termed a “revenge” attack.
Asked about a potential religious element in the shootings, he said only that “the victims were coming from prayers” at the mosque.