KADUNA, Nigeria (Reuters) – Local violence in the northern Nigerian state of Kaduna has claimed 55 lives in recent days, the local police commissioner said Sunday.
Ahmad Abdur-Rahman said in a telephone interview that clashes between two communities in the Kasuwan Magani area of southern Kaduna led to 22 arrests. He gave no details about the cause of the conflict, but ethnic tensions and clashes have plagued this part of the state in recent years.
"Everyone involved in this crisis must face the full wrath of the law," said Abdur-Rahman. He said a curfew in Kasuwan Magani, imposed by the state government on Thursday, helped calm the situation.
Hundreds of people were killed in outbreaks of violence throughout Nigeria this year. Security has become an important pre-election campaign issue in February 201
The presidency condemned the violence in a statement released on Saturday. "The frequent recourse to Nigeria's bloodshed over misunderstandings that can be solved peacefully is worrying," said a statement by Buharis spokesman Garba Shehu.
Last year, troops and additional police officers were stationed in South Kaduna in response to an outbreak of violence.
Reporting by Garba Muhammad; Additional reporting by Felix Onuah in Abuja; Letter from Alexis Akwagyiram; Edited by Raissa Kasolowsky