Nigerians flee tribal killings

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The Independent Online

Thousands of people fled their homes in Nigeria's biggest city yesterday during a third day of ethnic violence that has killed at least 55 people and injured 150.

Thousands of people fled their homes in Nigeria's biggest city yesterday during a third day of ethnic violence that has killed at least 55 people and injured 150.

Tribal fighters carrying machetes, swords, slingshots, and bows and arrows vastly outnumbered police officers in Lagos. There are long-standing hostilities between the mainly Muslim Hausas and the Yorubas, most of whom are Christians and animists.

The violence was the latest blow to the polluted and crime-ridden city of Lagos, which is still recovering from explosions at an army weapons depot that led to the deaths of at least 1,000 people last week.

Emmanuel Ijewere, president of the Nigerian Red Cross, said 55 people had died and more than 150 people with gunshot, machete and other serious wounds were being treated in hospitals. But witnesses spoke of dozens more killed in overnight clashes in poor neighbourhoods. Soldiers were deployed yesterday to help to contain the fighting.

Plumes of black smoke rose from several square miles of slums yesterday and witnesses said thousands of homes were razed. Streams of fleeing residents carried whatever belongings they could and hundreds of people – mostly Hausa women, children and elderly men – sought refuge at the Abalti army barracks. (AP)

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