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Unknown gunmen stormed a mainly Christian-dominated Jos community overnight and hacked eight members of a family to death in the latest violence to hit the region, officials said Sunday.
Plateau State Information commissioner Yiljap Abraham, who took reporters to the residence of the victims in Tatu, north of the administrative capital Abuja, regretted the rising spate of sectarian killings in the state.
The victims were a father, mother and their six children, he said.
The killings happened just as an explosive device was found in a market area in the volatile state’s Riyom district early Sunday.
An old man was said to have spotted the explosive device at the market square and took it to his room thinking that he had found something valuable.
A military officer, Sergeant Willford Egwu, who showed journalists the device said that it could have exploded but for a weak battery.
Jos, the state capital, and the surrounding area have been hit by waves of violence between Christian and Muslim ethnic groups that have left hundreds dead in recent years.
The region lies in the so-called Middle Belt between the mainly Muslim north and predominately Christian south of Africa’s most populous nation.