Hundreds killed in Nigerian clashes: Report

November 30th, 2008 - 7:10 pm ICT by IANS  

Abuja (Nigeria), Nov 30 (IANS) Hundreds of people have been killed in clashes between Christians and Muslims in Jos, the capital city of central Nigeria’s Plateau State, reports said Sunday.The bodies of at least 300 Muslims were taken to the city’s central mosque during Saturday, the BBC quoted Imam Sheikh Khalid Abubakar as saying.

There were understood to be heavy casualties among Christians, too, the report said, adding that the Nigerian Red Cross estimated that 10,000 people had fled the violence.

Gun battles between security agents and the protesters had continued as the Plateau State Independent Electoral Commission announced Saturday that the ruling People’s Democratic Party won in 16 of the 17 council areas of the state.

Jos has a history of sectarian violence between indigenous Christians and Muslim settlers. Mosques, churches and other property have been razed to the ground during the clashes.

Police imposed a 24-hour curfew and the army has been patrolling the streets with orders to shoot on sight, the BBC report said.

More armoured police vehicles arrived in Jos Saturday morning to beef up security and help put down the political violence.

Traffic began to pick up Saturday as many residents went in search of food and other essentials to beat the curfew imposed by Governor Jang Friday. The dusk-to-dawn curfew begins at 6 p.m. every day.

Nigerian President Umaru Yar’Adua Friday ordered the Nigerian military to take charge in Jos as the violence worsened.

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