Fresh Religious Violence Hits Jos


Fresh violence between Muslims and Christians in Nigeria left one person dead and another seriously wounded on Sunday, a day after three others were killed, witnesses said.

Sunday’s attack in the flashpoint city of Jos in central Nigeria led to streets being quickly deserted as residents fled, while the state government pleaded for calm.

An army source speaking on condition of anonymity confirmed the killing.

According to witnesses, including an AFP journalist, the violence broke out as young Fulani Muslims were returning from the morgue where they went to retrieve the bodies of those killed the previous day for burial.

As they returned, they used machetes to kill a Christian who was passing and wounded a second, the witnesses said.

Officials had not confirmed the witnesses’ account.

Security forces earlier Sunday said they had arrested 15 suspects following Saturday’s killing of three Muslim Fulani herdsmen near Jos.

The Muslim Fulani herdsmen died in attacks believed to have been launched by Christian ethnic Beroms in the village of Tsung, just days after authorities lifted a curfew in the area.

The three were reportedly searching for lost cattle about 40 kilometres (25 miles) south of Jos when dozens of youths murdered them before setting the bodies on fire.

“We will arrest more people. Those arrested are helping us with our investigation,” Colonel Kayode Ogundele, the operations director of a special military unit in central Plateau State, told AFP.

“For sure, those found to have had a hand in the incident will face the law.”

But an Islamic organisation in the area, the Jamatul Nasri Islam, condemned Saturday’s killings and accused the government of not doing enough to end violence in Plateau State, where Jos is located.

“The government of Plateau State is not sincere, not serious and not willing to bring an end to this crisis…,” said the group’s lawyer, Ahmed Garuba.

Plateau state government spokesman Geoffrey Yenlong called for calm and restraint.

“I urge citizens of Plateau State, particularly the Fulani, to exercise restraint in this trying moment,” he said in a statement.

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