× Digital News Videos Africa Health & Science Opinion Columnists Education Lifestyle Cartoons Moi Cabinets Arts & Culture Gender Planet Action Podcasts E-Paper Tributes Lifestyle & Entertainment Nairobian Entertainment Eve Woman TV Stations KTN Home KTN News BTV KTN Farmers TV Radio Stations Radio Maisha Spice FM Vybez Radio Enterprise VAS E-Learning Digger Classified Jobs Games Crosswords Sudoku The Standard Group Corporate Contact Us Rate Card Vacancies DCX O.M Portal Corporate Email RMS


Nearly 150 dead in clashes in Nigerian city

By | Jan 20th 2010 | 2 min read

By Shuaibu Mohammed

JOS, Nigeria, Jan 19

Nearly 150 Nigerians have been killed and dozens injured in three days of clashes between Muslim and Christian gangs in the central city of Jos, where police imposed a 24-hour curfew.

The governor of Plateau state on Tuesday sent extra security forces to the state capital to prevent a repetition of clashes in November 2008, in which hundreds of residents were killed in the country's worst sectarian fighting in years.

"On Sunday evening, we buried 19 corpses and 52 yesterday. As of right now, there are 78 at the mosque yet to be buried," said Muhammad Tanko Shittu, a worker organising the mass burials at the city's main mosque, adding 90 people had been injured.

This week's violence started after an argument between Muslim and Christian neighbours over the rebuilding of homes destroyed in the 2008 clashes.

A police spokesman said calm had been restored in most neighbourhoods in Jos, but residents said they could still hear sporadic gunfire and see smoke from burning houses and churches.

Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan, who has taken over ceremonial duties from ailing President Umaru Yar'Adua, has directed authorities to restore calm.

"I assure you that the federal government is on top of the situation in Jos and the situation is under control," said Ima Niboro, spokesman for the vice-president.

It was not known whether Yar'Adua, in hospital in Saudi Arabia for nearly two months, has been briefed on the situation.

The state's governor, Jonah Jang, was expected to address Nigerians in a live TV broadcast later on Tuesday.

Thousands Displaced

A Red Cross spokesman said around 2,000 residents had left their homes and taken shelter at a nearby college. Some were injured with machete cuts and gunshot wounds, he said.

There were reports that the clashes had spread to at least seven communities outside Jos, but this could not be independently confirmed.

Dr. Aboi Madaki, who works at the Jos University Teaching Hospital, said gunshots and machine gun fire could be heard as early as 4 a.m. (0300 GMT) and continued for hours afterwards.

"I saw soldiers moving into town and I can see smoke coming from many places," he said.

Nigeria has roughly equal numbers of Christians and Muslims, although traditional animist beliefs underpin many people's faiths.

More than 200 ethnic groups generally live peacefully side-by-side in the West African country, although 1 million people were killed in a civil war between 1967 and 1970 and there have been outbreaks of religious unrest since then.

At least 40 people were killed last month in clashes between Nigerian security forces and members of an Islamic sect in the northern city of Bauchi.


Share this story
When Njonjo almost resigned over coffee smugglers
Known as the era of black gold, it began in 1976 when Ugandan farmers decided to sell their coffee in the private market.