Nigeria gunmen open fire in pub

BY: Enoch Darfah Frimpong

Ten civilians have died after gunmen stormed a pub in central Nigeria's Plateau state and opened fire on customers, authorities say. The attackers wore military uniforms according to eye witness reports, but the army has denied any involvement.

"You can get camouflage clothes from the market," a military spokesman told the BBC Hausa service.

Hundreds of people have been killed in Plateau state in recent years in clashes between rival ethnic groups.

The state lies on the fault line between a mainly Muslim north and predominantly Christian and animist south.

As a result rival groups, split along religious, ethnic and political lines, have clashed in the region on numerous occasions over the past decade.

The pub shooting took place in the remote village of Heipang in the predominantly Christian Barkin Ladi region, army spokesman Capt Salisu Ibrahim Mustapha said.

"The gunmen opened fire indiscriminately on customers, killing eight on the spot while two others died later as a result of the gunshot wounds they sustained," he said, reports the AFP news agency.

Several eyewitnesses said the assailants were dressed as soldiers and drove a type of van also used by the army.

Capt Mustapha said criminals have in the past resorted to wearing army uniforms to carry out attacks.

"There is nothing that connects the army with these killings. None of our vehicles is involved," he told the BBC Hausa service.

No responsibility has been claimed for the attack so far.

In addition to inter-communal clashes, militant Islamist group Boko Haram has also staged attacks in the area.

It wants to establish Islamic law and has killed hundreds of people this year, mostly in the north.