Christians flee homes after violence in Northern Nigeria

Fearing attacks after weekend onslaught that led to over 500 deaths, Christians in villages surrounding Jos have fled their homes.

Last Updated: Mar 10, 2010, 13:44 PM IST

Abuja: Fearing fresh attacks after the
weekend onslaught that led to over 500 deaths, Christians in
villages surrounding Jos, the capital of northern Nigerian
state of Plateau, have fled their homes even as military
patrol the area.

Some youth belonging to two communities clashed at a
police college forcing the army to enter the school and shoot
at them, thereby killing two persons.

The Christian Association of Nigeria`s (CAN) national
Secretary Samuel Salifu said the crisis is religious.

"It is clear that the crisis in Jos is purely religious,
though it may have the undertone of culture, it may also have
the undertone of politics.

"But it is becoming clear every day that it is religious
and our understanding of it is that it is premeditated cold
blooded murder of innocent Christians in those affected
villages. The time and type of weapons that were used and the
clinical mode of operation is a pointer to the fact that it is
a well rehearsed murder of innocent Christians by persons who
had undergone proper training, Salifu said.

A tensed session ensued at the country`s parliament
because of the killings in Dogo Nahawa village. It was
resolved that the perpetrators should be brought to book.

"I went back to the city after the January riot thinking
that it will take a lot of time before another breaks out but
with the frequency, I have to leave the city and I will not
return again," local resident Nduka Christopher told.

Christopher said he was afraid that another outbreak is
imminent within Jos.

Nigerian soldiers open fire on youths

Witnesses say soldiers in a Nigerian town at the center of a spate of religious killings opened fire on a crowd of youths that had surrounded a cattle truck driving after curfew.

A nurse told today that at least two were killed and five others injured in the shooting in the central Nigerian city of Jos. The nurse says the youths feared the truck had weapons.

Sustained automatic weapon fire could be heard throughout the city on Tuesday night.

The truck, which only had cattle, sat off to the side of the Tundun Wada neighborhood, its windshield a spider web of bullet holes. An Army colonel prevented AP reporters from seeing the dead.

More than 200 people have died in villages around Jos after violence between Christians and Muslims.

Bureau Report