Police say they suspect a group of Fulani herdsmen shot and killed 45 people in the latest clash between mainly Muslim herders and predominantly Christian farmers in central Nigeria.

Survivors put the death toll at nearer 100. Farmer Orji Dooga said he counted 95 bodies from Sunday's attack on the village Egba in Benue state.

Assistant Superintendent Austin Ezeani said Monday that most victims were children, women and elderly people.

Thousands have been killed over the years in ongoing land disputes between the two groups. Human Rights Watch has blamed the government for not prosecuting perpetrators and allowing the cycle of violence to continue as aggrieved victims launch revenge attacks.

The Islamic extremist group Boko Haram has invoked this lack of justice as an excuse for its attacks on Christians.