Abuja: Mass burial on Thursday commenced for victims of Muslim-Christian communal violence in a northern Nigeria city which has left at least 400 dead in the last four days, even as the government ordered troops to quell attacks by rioting gangs which had raged largely unchecked.
Religious groups could be seen burying dead bodies at mass graves as some 17,000 displaced residents started returning back to the city that has witnessed the killing of not less than 400 persons in the last four days.
With a permanent curfew relaxed for a few hours, a mass funeral got underway on Thursday morning after the government ordered in troops to quell attacks by rampaging gun-wielding gangs which had raged largely unchecked since Sunday.
A twenty-four hour curfew earlier placed by the government was reduced and this has enhanced humanitarian efforts around centres where distraught residents have taken refuge. The conflict was reportedly fuelled by the building of a mosque in a Christian dominated area of the town.
Uneasy calm pervades the city and strong security presence has enforced peace though inhabitants still live in fear. A governor of southern state of Ekiti, Segun Oni ordered the evacuation of over 200 Ekiti indigenous residing in the city Oni said, "All indigenous of the State living in Jos will be evacuated before Sunday."
"The State Commissioner for Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Relation, Segun Ilori, would be handling the evacuation and was mandated to see to the welfare of the victims.”
First Published: Friday, January 22, 2010, 11:42