The attack, which occurred when the villagers were observing their prayers on Sunday, happened in the Etogi community, Mokwa local government area.

Witnesses say the incident followed a disagreement between some Fulani youths and members of the affected community.

According to an account, the herders who maintained a settlement near the community, were offered land to farm with an agreement that a certain percentage of proceeds would go to the village head.

A disagreement ensued when the herders failed to honour the deal claiming that the land in question now belongs to them.

Irked by the death of one them, the herders were said to have reached out for support from their kinsmen elsewhere and launched an attack on the community.

Mairo Mohammed said that the attackers killed everybody in the mosque, including the Imam.

Women and children, who were woken by the commotion, were said to have fled their homes with some of them sustaining injuries.

The Police Command Public Relation Officer, DSP Bala Elkana confirmed the report saying 20 people were killed.

He said the attack was a reprisal to an earlier killing of a herder by the villagers. "The killing of a herder was managed but it appears they were not satisfied and decided to retaliate", DSP Elkana explained.

More police officers have been deployed, while the Department of the State Security Service and officers of the command’s Criminal Investigation Department are also on ground to keep peace.