8 Christians killed N Nigeria ethnic attack

Last Updated: Sunday, July 18, 2010 - 08:55

Abuja: A group of machete wielding men
besieged a remote village close to the crises prone Nigeria`s
north-central city of Jos in Plateau State and killed eight
Christians.

The men, suspected to be Muslims, arrived at the
village of Mazah early in the morning and frightened the
people by shooting into the air sporadically, police said.

When the villagers, belonging to the Anagutas ethnic
group, ran out of their homes, they were attacked with
machetes.

While some died instantly others sustained serious
injuries. The injured were rushed to nearby hospitals as soon
as the attackers took to their heels.

"It was at about 1:30 am when I heard a knock on my
door. I went and opened but did not see anybody, so I went
back into the house. A few minutes later we started hearing
sporadic gun shots.

"It was then I escaped into the farmland near my
house, but my family was not fortunate enough to escape too,
my wife, daughter, son and grandson have all been killed," Rev
Nuhu Dawat, a Christian cleric who lost his wife, two
children, and a grandson, told reporters.

Confirming the attack, State Police Commissioner
Gregory Anyating said the police was doing its best to avoid
re-occurrence and spread of violence.

"We are trying to know the cause for this attack and
avoid a spread," he said, adding troops have started arriving
at the area of conflict.

Spokesman for the military Special Task Force (STF),
which has been sent to Jos to keep peace by the country`s
federal government, Col Kingsley Umoh told on phone: "The
new development is unfortunate and it has revealed the fragile
nature of the peace we have here in Jos, the identity of the
attackers are not yet known, relevant authorities are trying
to ascertain their identity."

Last Wednesday, similar clashes between Muslims and
Christians claimed eight lives even as some mosques and
churches were burnt down in Wukari, a town in Nigeria’s
northern state of Taraba.

Plateau state is well known for frequent religious
clashes between the members of the two religions.
More than 1,500 have died in ethnic and religious
related clashes within the state this year.

Nigeria`s 150 million population is shared equally
among the Muslim and the Christians and they live side by side
in several cities and villages.

PTI



First Published: Sunday, July 18, 2010 - 08:55

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