19 November 2012

Nigeria: Four Killed in Taraba Violence

Photo: The Daily Nation
file photo: Nigeria military personnel

At least four people were reportedly killed yesterday in a violence following quarrel between Christian and Muslim youths in Ibi Local Government Area of Taraba.

Local government chairman Isiaku Adamu, who confirmed the unrest, said rioters have burned down houses and shops in the area. State government spokesman Emmanuel Bello said that authorities have sent troops to the area to quell the violence.

The Associated Press reported that crisis started when a Christian vigilante group killed a Muslim resident who insisted on going through their illegal checkpoint.

Abubakar Abubakar Bello, an Ibi resident, told The Associated Press that churches and mosques were also torched as he stood outside his home to protect it. He said residents were fleeing his town.

Christians had put up several checkpoints early Sunday to stop Muslims from nearing their church during their services as a response to church attacks in other parts of the country, Adamu said.

"Many people have been killed; houses and shops belonging to both Muslims and Christmas have been burned. I cannot say how many people have been killed but one of our neighbours was killed," a resident told the BBC.

The state's police spokesman, Amos Olaoye, who spoke with our reporter on phone, confirmed the incident.

He said trouble started when a group of youths tried to remove a barricade set up on a road leading to a church, as a result one person lost his life.

The police spokesman, who declined to give details of the incident, said he could not say precisely whether it was a religious crisis and cannot identify the person that was killed.

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