Update: Â Al Jizz cooks the news and Al Bebeeceera swallows:
By Hassan El-Najjar Â (you can always rely on Muhammedan stringers to tell the truth and nothing but the truth, totally unbiased…)
Muslim ‘rebels, insurgents, militants, fundamentalists, radicals, missionary bandits’….
“Â Such outbreaks of violence are not uncommon in Nigeria”– says the Telegraph UK, from which we lifted this report. Al Reuters employs a Muslim stringer who just can’t cut the bullshit and spins:Â Â “Muslims and Christians generally live peacefully side by side in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation”…
But ethnic and religious tensions in the country’s “middle belt” have simmered for years, rooted in resentment by indigenous minority groups, mostly Christian or animist, toward migrants and settlers from the Hausa-speaking Muslim north. (hmmm, why would that be…?/ed)
* Here’s a hint: in Plateau State, Christians are regarded as the indigenes and Hausa-speaking Muslims the settlers.
Estimates of the dead in three days of sectarian fighting sparked by a disputed local election in the central city of Jos range from at least 200 to 400.
A senior Nigerian Red Cross official who asked not to be named said that 218 bodies were lying in the main mosque in Jos awaiting burial.
* Further down we also have the Reuters report….
However, Khaled Abubakar, the imam of the central mosque, said: “So far about 400 bodies have been brought to the mosque following the outbreak of violence.
“Families are coming to identify and claim the bodies, while those that can not be identified or nobody claims them will be interred by the mosque.”
Yakumu Pam, a Christian pastor, said: “Hundreds of people have been killed in the last two days since the riots started. Remains of burned bodies litter some parts of the town. It is so terrible.”
Thousands more people are reported to have fled their homes, while the governor of Plateau State, Jonah Jang, has placed four districts of Jos under a curfew and ordered police to fire on anyone who broke it following the worst of the clashes on Friday.
There was no official confirmation of the death toll.
Local residents said several churches and mosques were razed in the violence, which started with a rumour that the All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP) had lost the local election to the federal ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
The ANPP is perceived in Jos to be a predominantly Muslim party, and the PDP to be mainly Christian.
Such outbreaks of violence are not uncommon in Nigeria. Jos was also the scene of a week of violence between Christians and Muslims in September 2001 that also left hundreds dead.
Hundreds killed in Muslim-Christian clashes in Nigeria
By Shuaibu MohammedÂ
JOS, Nigeria, Nov 29 (Reuters) – Clashes between Muslim and Christian gangs triggered by a disputed election have killed more than 200 people in central Nigeria, the Red Cross said on Saturday, in the worst unrest in the country for years.Â
The army sent reinforcements to police a 24-hour curfew on the city of Jos, which lies at the crossroads of Nigeria’s Muslim north and Christian south, after rival groups of youths burned homes, shops, mosques and churches.Â
Hundreds of bodies were brought to the town’s main mosque in preparation for a mass burial.Â
“I counted 218 dead bodies at Masalaci Jummaa. There are many other bodies in the streets,” said a Red Cross official who asked not to be named.Â
That death toll did not include hospital figures, victims already buried, or those taken to other places of worship, meaning the final count could be much higher, officials said.Â
Muslims and Christians generally live peacefully side by side in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation.Â
But ethnic and religious tensions in the country’s “middle belt” have simmered for years, rooted in resentment by indigenous minority groups, mostly Christian or animist, towards migrants and settlers from the Hausa-speaking Muslim north.Â
The governor of Plateau state, of which Jos is the capital, said in a statement that troops had orders to shoot on sight to enforce the curfew in neighbourhoods hit by the violence.Â
About 7,000 people fled their homes and were sheltering in government buildings and religious centres, the Red Cross said.Â
The unrest is the most serious of its kind recently in the country of 140 million people, split roughly equally between Christians and Muslims, since President Umaru Yar’Adua took power in May 2007.Â
Gunfire and explosions heard in the early hours of Saturday later died down but many streets were deserted. Military checkpoints were set up around the city and soldiers helped clear bodies from the streets.Â
“The situation demanded that we send in additional troops from neighbouring states,” Nigerian army spokesman Brigadier General Emeka Onwuamaegbu told Reuters.Â
The clashes between gangs of Muslim Hausas and mostly Christian Beroms began early on Friday and were provoked by a disputed local government chairmanship election.Â
“There are Hausas and Beroms who want to fight each other and the army is in the middle trying to create a buffer zone,” one resident said on Saturday.Â
A spokesman for Plateau state governor Jonah Jang said hundreds of youths found to be carrying weapons had been arrested at military roadblocks.Â
Hundreds were killed in fighting in Jos in 2001. Hundreds more died in 2004 in clashes in Yelwa, also in Plateau, leading then-President Olusegun Obasanjo to declare an emergency. (For full Reuters Africa coverage and to have your say on the top issues, visit: http://africa.reuters.com/) (Additional reporting by Tume Ahemba; Writing by Nick Tattersall; editing by Michael Roddy)