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March 08, 2010

Appeals For Calm in Nigeria After Muslims Butcher 500 Christiansia

Horrific.

It's not just a religious war. It's a Range War style fight, with farmers against cattle-grazers. In this case, though, the farmers are almost all Christian and the cattle-grazers all Muslims.

Funerals took place for victims of the three-hour orgy of violence on Sunday in three Christian villages close to the northern city of Jos, blamed on members of the mainly Muslim Fulani ethnic group.

While troops were deployed to the villages to prevent new attacks, security forces detained 95 suspects but faced bitter criticism over how the killers were able to go on the rampage at a time when a curfew was meant to be in force.

Media reported that Muslim residents of the villages in Plateau state had been warned by phone text message, two days prior to the attack, so they could make good their escape before the exit points were sealed off.

Survivors said the attackers were able to separate the Fulanis from members of the rival Berom group by chanting 'nagge', the Fulani word for cattle. Those who failed to respond in the same language were hacked to death.

One local paper said the gangs shouted Allah Akhbar (God is Great) before breaking into homes and setting them alight in the early hours of Sunday. Churches were among the buildings that were burned down.

...

"We have over 500 killed in three villages and the survivors are busy burying their dead," said state information commissioner Gregory Yenlong.

"People were attacked with axes, daggers and cutlasses -- many of them children, the aged and pregnant women."

Much of the violence was centred around the village of Dogo Nahawa, where gangs set fire to straw-thatched mud huts as they went on their rampage.

The explosion of violence is the latest between rival ethnic and religious groups. In January 326 people died in clashes in and around Jos, according to police although rights activists put the overall toll at more than 550.

"The attack is yet another jihad and provocation," the Plateau State Christian Elders Consulatative Forum (PSCEF) said.


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posted by Ace at 07:26 PM

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