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Nigeria: Ten feared dead as Muslim and Christian youth clash 0

At least nine persons were killed and several others injured on Monday in Jos, the Plateau State capital of Nigeria following a fresh violence that erupted between Muslim and Christian faithful.

The violence is coming less than a fortnight after a clash between adherents of the two religions resulted in the death of several people.

The city, which lies between the country’s mostly Muslim north and the predominantly Christian south, has been a flash point for ethnic and sectarian tensions between the two faiths.

“The Muslim faithful went for their Eid prayers and on completion of the prayers they were trapped by the youths in that area,” Brigadier General Hassan Umaru, commander of the military Special Task Force keeping security in Jos, told Reuters by telephone.

Umaru said the youths had since been “pacified.”

“They burnt some cars…quite a number of cars. The number of people killed, I can’t give that yet. We are still checking with local hospital sources,” he added.

Shitu Mohammed, head of a search-and-rescue team for the Muslim community reported nine dead and 106 people wounded.

“Most of the wounds were from … thrown missiles, machete cuts and from arrows. Twenty parents have so far reported their underage children missing,” he said.

Witnesses said Christian youths set up roadblocks and attacked Muslims as they gathered in Jos’s Gada Biu and Rukuba areas, shooting a number of them dead.

Christians involved in the clashes spoke of revenge for a string of bombs that exploded in Jos on Christmas Eve last year that left at least 80 people dead.

A Reuters witness saw several bodies. At least one was charred after being set alight.

Nigeria has a roughly equal Christian-Muslim mix. More than 200 ethnic groups live side by side in the West African country. Though generally peaceful, Nigeria has seen periodic bouts of religious violence, with Jos in particular showing a tendency to flare up.

At least 80 people were killed in bombings there last December 24 and clashes between Muslim and Christian youths.

If the violence worsens or triggers reprisals, it may prove another major headache for President Goodluck Jonathan, whose security forces are already stretched by daily attacks from an Islamist sect in the north-east, which also claimed Friday’s deadly bomb attack on the U.N. offices in Abuja that killed 23.

By Staff writer – Afronline

Sources: Aljazeera, Reuters Africa, Afrique Avenir

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Direttore Responsabile Giuseppe Frangi