JOS, Nigeria - Gunmen killed 30 people in a village in central Nigeria on Monday, officials said, in a religiously-mixed region with a long history of ethnic and communal violence.

Violence in central Nigeria is frequently fuelled by long-running land disputes between semi-nomadic communities like the Muslim Fulani and farming settlers including mainly Christian Berom, both often armed with automatic weapons.

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Gunmen stormed the majority-Berom Shonong village in the Riyom local government area in the early hours, opening fire on residents and torching dozens of houses to the ground, a member of the state house of assembly Daniel Dem told Reuters.

A spokesman for the local military confirmed the attack, but said it was too early to give a death toll.

Thousands have been killed in the last three years in tit-for-tat clashes between rival ethnic groups in the "Middle Belt", where the largely Christian south meets the mostly Muslim north in Africa's most populous nation.

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