39 killed in Nigeria violence



Abuja: At least 39 people have been killed in Nigeria's northern state of Taraba as clashes broke out between Christians and Muslims at a funeral.

Residents said violence broke out yesterday as a funeral procession for a traditional leader passed through a Muslim area of Wukari town.

A 24-hour curfew has been imposed on the town by police.

Spokesman of the state government, Joseph Kwaji said 30 people sustained deadly injuries. Tensions have been high in Wukari since February, when a row over a football dispute set off sectarian rioting. Local reports say that funeral was being held by the predominantly Christian Jukun ethnic group. As the mourners passed through a Muslim area of the town they began chanting slogans which angered the residents there, say the reports.

More than 20 people were killed in a similar confrontation in February.

Nigeria's population stands at 150 million and their are more than 250 ethnic groups.

Clashes are often caused by religious, ethnic or land ownership issues.

PTI