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YOLA, Nigeria (AP) — Officials in Nigeria say gunmen have killed 15 people in an early-morning attack on a Catholic church, including two priests.

The attack took place in Ayar-Mbalom, a community in Benue state.

Terver Akase, a media aide to the Benue state governor, says the attackers also burned down 50 houses.

President Muhammadu Buhari in a statement calls the violation of a place of worship “vile, evil and satanic” and an attempt to stoke religious conflict.

Benue state in central Nigeria has seen a series of attacks in recent weeks, many linked to a long-running dispute between farmers and herdsmen.

A few days ago 10 people were killed by alleged herdsmen in the state.