11 dead in Central Nigeria clashes

Army patrols were sent out after a deadly gunfight near near the Nigeria city of Jos, located in a region known as a hotbed of ethnic, sectarian and religious tensions (AFP Photo/Quentin Leboucher)

Lagos (AFP) - A gunfight broke out near the central Nigeria city of Jos killing 11 people and sparking outbreaks of violence across the city, an army spokesman said Friday.

The violence started late Thursday evening on the outskirts of Jos, army spokesman Major Umar Adam told AFP.

"Eleven are confirmed dead and several others injured, I can't say how many," Adam said.

"Today (Friday) some youths blocked the road along Rukuba and attacked passers-by," Adam said, addomg that "many people were injured".

"The situation now is relatively calm. Patrols have been intensified to ensure there is no breakdown of law and order," he added.

Adam said that while there had been no arrests, the attacks may be linked to unrest in the area earlier in the week.

Jos, the Plateau state capital of about one million people, is nestled in the hills of central Nigeria and has frequently been the scene of violence.

Plateau state lies in Nigeria's so-called Middle Belt that separates the predominantly Muslim north from the largely Christian south.

It has long been a hotbed of ethnic, sectarian and religious tensions between indigenous farming communities and nomadic cattle herders.

Tensions typically boil over into tit-for-tat violence over access to land and resources, and the struggle for political control.

The Plateau state government on Friday announced a dusk to dawn curfew in Jos.