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Gunmen kill 9 in central Nigeria attack: police

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At least nine residents in Nigeria's north-central state of Benue were killed in an attack by gunmen early Friday, the police said.

Eight people were killed on the spot and another victim died later amid sporadic shooting as the gunmen went on the rampage in Tse Ujoh community located in Katsina-Ala area of the state, police spokesman, Moses Yamu, confirmed to reporters.

The police did not confirm the number of wounded victims, but eyewitnesses said more than 15 people were hurt.

Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue also confirmed the number of dead casualties, describing the killing as "unacceptable."

Ortom said troops have been quickly deployed to the area to bring the situation under control.

The governor said three suspects have been arrested in connection with the attack and assured the local people of more security to prevent further attacks.

Killings have increased since the start of the year in Benue, where relations between herdsmen and farmers remained tense.

Benue is one of the middle-belt states in Nigeria predominantly inhabited by three tribes.

Nigerian leader Muhammadu Buhari recently ordered the deployment of troops to the state, to forestall further killings.

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