Violence in northern Nigeria leaves ten dead

Published 17 December 2007  |  
This weekend Christian-Muslim tensions in northern Nigeria have been high after more clashes which left 10 people dead and 30 more critically injured. Three churches were also set on fire during the clashes which took place on Saturday 15 December in the city of Bauchi.

According to officials, military have begun patrolling the streets in order to put a stop to more violence. The violence began on 11 December when two foundation blocks of a high school mosque were pulled out by unknown individuals. The mosque was being built in a mixed Christian and Muslim area of Bauchi called Yelwa.

In response, Muslims began attacking Christian homes, churches and shops.

A teacher at the adjacent Government Day Secondary School-Yelwa said that the attackers "attacked their Christian colleagues with knives and daggers. I had to run for my dear life because the situation became uncontrollable," according to BosNewsLife.

During the fighting which killed 10 people, locals armed themselves with improvised weapons such as clubs, machetes and daggers. The director of the Red Cross in Bauchi, Adamu Abukkarr said that six bodies had been recovered so far, one of which is reported to be a Christian security agent named Bogoro.

So far officials have not released the names of the other victims.

The director of the Bauchi Red Cross, Adamu Abubakarr said, "The situation is still tense and hundreds of people have fled their homes and are now seeking refuge in police barracks," reports IRIN.

A journalist named Mu'azu Hardawa told IRIN of his experiences: "I counted 20 houses, eight cars, five motorcycles, two mosques and two churches all burnt in the violence."

Another local journalist, Godwin Agbara spoke of the humanitarian situation in the area, "The National Emergency Management Agency has brought mattresses and blankets while Red Cross provides medical supplies but we feed ourselves which is not easy."

The outbreak of violence comes at a time of increasing tensions between the Christian and Muslim communities in parts of Nigeria.

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