Riots in Nigeria kill nearly 400

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Sunday, November 30, 2008

The location of the riots, as shown on a map of Nigeria and the surrounding area (Enlarge map)
Image: OpenStreetMap.

According to a French journalist and the imam of the local mosque, around 400 people have been killed in the riots that erupted due to a dispute in the result of the local elections.

The riots are taking place in the Nigerian city of Jos, which is located between the Christian and Muslim areas of Nigeria.

The elections which sparked the violence, did, according to a rumor spread around the city, result in the predominantly Christian People's Democratic Party beating the All Nigerian Peoples Party, a predominantly Muslim party.

Khaled Abubakar, the imam of the city's central mosque, made an estimate of the death toll. "So far about 400 bodies have been brought to the mosque following the outbreak of violence," he stated. "Families are coming to identify and claim the bodies, while those that cannot be identified or are not claimed by anybody will be interred by the mosque."

A French journalist confirmed the reports of Abubakar, despite the fact that early reports showed only twenty deaths.

Cquote1.svg Hundreds of people have been killed in the last two days since the riots started. Remains of burned bodies litter some parts of the town. It is so terrible. Cquote2.svg

—Yakumu Pam, Christian clergyman in Jos

Authorities have not yet confirmed the death toll.

Yakumu Pam, a Christian clergyman in Jos, also commented on the chaos. "Hundreds of people have been killed in the last two days since the riots started," he stated. "Remains of burned bodies litter some parts of the town. It is so terrible."

In an effort to stop the fighting, the army has been ordered to open fire on people, and to create a buffer zone between the Christians and the Muslims.

Umaru Yar'Adua, the President of Nigeria, has stated that he is "very sad" about the ongoing violence.

Sources

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