Nigerian soldiers open fire on youths; two killed

This is an image taken from TV showing a mass grave for victims in the town of Dogo Nahawa, Nigeria, about three miles (five kilometers) south of the city of Jos, on Monday. Photo: AP.  

Soldiers opened fire on a crowd after curfew and killed two people, witnesses said on Wednesday, just days after fighting between Christians and Muslims in the area left more than 200 dead including dozens of children.

Hundreds of people swarmed the streets of Jos on Wednesday morning, where one truck’s windshield was a spider web of bullet holes with the word “rejoice” scrawled on it.

Residents had tried to stop the truck late Tuesday from entering the town after curfew late Tuesday, fearing it was carrying fighters or weapons. They have accused police and military of failing to provide security to the villages that were attacked on Sunday morning.

The military later arrived, asked the youth to leave, and then opened fire on them and the truck. Two were killed and five others were wounded, said Angela Ogobri, a nurse from a local hospital.

An Army colonel prevented AP reporters from seeing the dead. The truck was later found to be carrying only cattle and baskets.

At least 200 people, most of them Christians, were slaughtered on Sunday in several villages near Jos, according to residents, aid groups and journalists. The violence comes after sectarian killings in this region in January left more than 300 dead, most of them Muslims.

Nigeria is almost evenly split between Muslims in the north and the predominantly Christian south. The recent bloodshed has been happening in central Nigeria, in Nigeria’s “middle belt,” where dozens of ethnic groups vie for control of fertile lands.

The killings add to the tally of thousands who already have perished in Africa’s most populous country in the last decade due to religious and political frictions. Rioting in September 2001 killed more than 1,000 people. Muslim—Christian battles killed up to 700 people in 2004. More than 300 residents died during a similar uprising in 2008.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jan 24, 2021 1:57:19 AM |

Next Story