11 killed, nine churches torched in Nigeria
ENUGU: Muslim and Christian mobs killed 11 people in three Nigerian cities on Friday, extending a week of tit-for-tat religious riots that have claimed at least 157 lives and injured more than 900. In Kontagora, machete-wielding Muslim mobs killed nine people and torched four Christian churches, said a Nigerian Red Cross official. They also looted shops owned by minority Christians, police said.

In Enugu, Christian youths armed with machetes and clubs attacked Muslims, beating one motorcycle taxi driver to death and burning a mosque. A stray bullet also killed an 8-year-old Christian girl and rioters blocked off the area with burning barricades. James Obi, a market trader who was part of the mob in Enugu, said they killed the taxi driver, known locally as an Okada, after a rumour that a Muslim policeman killed a Christian boy. “We got angry and we killed one of them on Okada. His corpse has been set ablaze,” he said.

In Potiskum, Muslim youths burned shops, churches and houses belonging to minority Christians early on Friday. Police said 65 rioters were arrested. Federal Police spokesman Haz Iwendi said the violence broke out late on Thursday in Kontagora. “There were skirmishes in Kontagora. It started last night and continued this morning. Eleven deaths were recorded. Nine churches were burnt and vehicles were destroyed,” he said. “Twenty-six suspects have been arrested,” he said, adding, “the place is now calm.”
Posted by: Fred 2006-02-25