by Chima Onwe:

A reporter says he counted more than 200 dead bodies after violence erupted in Dogo Nahawa, a village about five kilometers south of the city of Jos.

Yemi Kosoko, a reporter with the Nigerian television station Channels, told The Associated Press on Sunday morning that most of the bodies appeared to be women and children killed by blows from machetes. Kosoko says he made the count Sunday afternoon with an official from the state government in the village.

Reuters news agency says a local hospital director showed reporters 18 corpses that had been brought from the village.

However, the death toll remains uncertain.

“They came around 3 o’clock in the morning and they started shooting into the air,” said Peter Jang, a resident of the village.

“The shooting was just meant to bring people from their houses and then when people came out they started cutting them with machetes,” he said, women crying behind him.

Meanwhile, a Red Cross spokesperson, Robin Waubo, says hundreds have fled from Jos after last night’s incidence.

He said the military moved into three villages to the south of Jos on Sunday afternoon.

Mr. Waubo says the Red Cross does not know how many people may have died, though he says they fear there have been more deaths in a region that saw more than 300 killed in violent clashes in January.

A Red Cross official in nearby Bauchi State says more than 600 people have fled into makeshift camps there since Sunday morning.

Four days of sectarian clashes in January between mobs armed with guns, knives and machetes killed hundreds of people in Jos, the capital of Plateau State, which lies at the crossroads of Nigeria’s Muslim north and predominantly Christian south.

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