23 November 2012

Nigeria: Four Killed in Kano 'Blasphemy' Riot

Kano — At least four people were feared killed in a religious riot that broke out in Bichi town of Kano State, after a non-Muslim was accused of blaspheming against Prophet Muhammad in the town located about 30 kilometres from Kano.

Several other people were reported injured, while a church and shops were set ablaze by rampaging youths who staged a violent protest over the alleged blasphemy.

The crisis erupted around 9am after a non-Muslim tailor 'wrongly' pronounced the Hausa name for a popular outfit (Na Annabi ya zo kasuwa), which some youths misrepresented as casting deliberate aspersion on the Prophet of Islam.

Residents said he was macheted to death instantly.

Hundreds of youths first took the streets burning tyres, before directing their anger on people's property. The rioters reportedly burnt down dozens of shops and vandalized vehicles. Schools were hurriedly closed with students asked to go home, our correspondent learnt.

In some areas, the rioters entered homes and brought out people's property before setting them on fire.

An eyewitness said he saw the body of a boy who was killed and dumped in drainage along FCE Bichi Road in the area, saying the victim was the son of his neighbour.

Daily Trust also gathered that another person was killed on a road leading to Gwarzo Local Government, while hospital sources in the town told our correspondent that two burnt bodies were brought to the Bichi General Hospital.

State Commissioner of Police Ibrahim K. Idris confirmed the incident, saying one person has been killed, ten people arrested and three places of worship burnt. He said the riot was staged by miscreants.

The commissioner said the crisis was as a result of "misinformation", saying local Imams have been mobilized to enlighten the people and we were able to evacuate the innocent tailor.

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