Thursday, January 13, 2011

Troops deployed after 13 killed near Jos

Soldiers rushed to restore calm in a village near Jos yesterday after 13 people were reported killed in an attack on a village and unrest flared in other areas.

I am told that 13 people died in the dawn attack, said Plateau state police commissioner Abdulrahman Akano, adding that officers had been sent to the mainly Christian village of Wareng to verify.

Details of the attack were not immediately clear. The commander Joint Military Task Force (JTF) said unrest had occurred in other areas of the region as well and soldiers had been deployed to restore calm.

"We have quite a number of people killed, Brigadier General Hassan Umaru told AFP. We are trying to contain each of these crises. He could not immediately provide details on the unrest. Umaru first reported incidents in several villages, but later said two villages had been hit.

A local politician also told AFP that 13 people were believed killed in Wareng, alleging Fulani Muslims had attacked Christian Beroms in the village. Emmanuel Danboyi Jugul also accused soldiers of being involved in the attack, though Umaru strongly denied the claim.

Plateau state, including its capital Jos, has long been on edge, but unprecedented Christmas Eve bomb blasts added a frightening new dimension to the unrest. A sect blamed for a series of attacks north claimed responsibility for the Christmas Eve explosions, but authorities cast doubt on the claim and attributed it to political motives with elections set for April.

Scores of people have been killed in clashes in Plateau in unrest many attribute to the struggle for economic and political power between Christian and Muslim ethnic groups.

Christians from the Berom ethnic group are typically referred to as the indigenes in the region, while Hausa-Fulani Muslims are seen as more recent arrivals.

This Day

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