Nigerian religious violence kills 96
Thursday 23 February 2006
Bodies littered the streets of the southern Nigerian city of Onitsha as the death toll from days of violence between Christians and Muslims across Nigeria rose to at least 96.
"I've counted more than 20 people killed today," said Isotonu Achor, who lives in Onitsha, after rioters armed with machetes and shotguns poured through the mainly Christian city yesterday. Residents said soldiers had opened fire on a mob of ethnic Igbo Christians that tried to enter the military barracks after reports that ethnic Hausa Muslims sheltering in the barracks had attacked a nearby primary school, killing a number of children.
The claims could not be verified and it was not clear if the soldiers killed anyone in the mob.
The deaths brought to at least 96 the number of people killed in Nigeria since sectarian violence first erupted on Saturday in the northern city of Maiduguri, where Muslim protests against cartoons caricaturing the Prophet Mohamad turned violent, burning down 30 churches and claiming the lives of 18 people, mostly Christians.
Similar violence followed on Monday and Tuesday in the northern city of Bauchi, where witnesses and Red Cross officials say 25 people were killed when Muslim mobs attacked Christians there.
Bauchi was tense but calm yesterday, with police and soldiers on patrol.
In Onitsha, two mosques were burned down and least 30 people were killed on Tuesday, most of them northern Muslims. Thousands of Muslims with origins in the north fled to the military barracks.
Nigeria is divided between a predominantly Muslim north and a mainly Christian south. Thousands have died in religious violence since 2000.
The attacks by Christian mobs in Onitsha were in reprisal against the violence in Maiduguri and Bauchi, which are dominated by Muslims.
Video: It is the type of thing no parent wants to hear
- 1 Exodus Gods and Kings casting controversy: Ridley Scott would never cast 'Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such' in lead role
- 2 This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
- 3 'You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me': 4-year-old sends adorable love letter to girl at school
- 4 Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
- 5 Michael Buerk wishes he killed Jimmy Savile when he had the chance - by pushing him overboard a cruise ship
Black Friday 2014: Opening times for Asda, John Lewis, GAME, PC World and Argos
Sean Abbott: Messages of support flood in for bowler after death of Phil Hughes
Plebgate: Andrew Mitchell’s reputation in tatters as judge rules he used the word ‘pleb’
Dr Lam Hoe Yeoh: Voyeur doctor jailed for eight years after using network of hidden cameras to film patients, colleagues and friends on the toilet
'You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me': 4-year-old sends adorable love letter to girl at school
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
Obama: The only people with the right to object to immigration are Native Americans
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Ukip mocked after mistaking Westminster Cathedral – for a mosque
Sarah Vine criticises lesbian mother Jack Monroe: 'If she was unsure about her sexuality, she should have taken greater precautions'
£35k - 42k per year + benefits: Opilio Recruitment: We have an exciting oppo...
£30k - 36k per year + benefits: Opilio Recruitment: We are currently recruit...
£1000 - £100000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Doing more admin than selling? ...
£30000 per annum + £60,000 OTE: h2 Recruit Ltd: London, Basingstoke, Brighton,...