Sunday, January 9, 2011

More killed in Jos intercommunal violence

Christian youths attacked a car full of Muslims returning from a wedding in Jos, Plateau State, seven people inside the vehicle and sparking retaliatory violence that left one other person dead, AP has reported, quoting a Muslim lawyer.

It was the latest unrest in a fertile region that saw more than 500 people killed last year in massacres pitting Christians against Muslims.

AP reports that on Saturday, gunshots echoed through the troubled city of Jos, causing store owners to close their shops and families to hide inside their homes.

The violence began as Christian youths blocked a road leading from a neighboring village Friday night, trapping the Muslims inside their car, said lawyer Ahmed Garba, a member of an Islamic religious council. Garba told journalists Saturday that seven people died in the attack and one person survived.

Garba said once news of the attack spread, Muslims began retaliatory violence in the streets of Jos that has left at least one person dead.

Plateau state police commissioner Abdurrahman Akano said investigators received word of the Friday night attack, but had not found any bodies.

Manassie Panpe, the Red Cross' state secretary, said officials from the aid organisation had found several injured people in the streets Saturday but that information remained scarce.

On Christmas Eve, two bombs went off near a large market in Jos where people were doing last-minute Christmas shopping. A third hit a mainly Christian area of Jos, while the fourth was near a road that leads to the city's main mosque.

Officials initially said at least 32 died from the blasts, while an official with the National Emergency Management Agency told journalists that he had counted 80 deaths from the explosions and the retaliatory violence that followed.

This Day

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