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NIGERIA : Violence Claims Lives of Christians – Cycle of attacks sparked by Christmas Eve bombings leaves growing list of victims.

By Lekan Otufodunrin and Obed Minchakpu

JOS, Nigeria, February 4, 2011, Amid sectarian violence by Muslims, Christians and security forces in Jos, the capital city of Plateau state, a flash point for ethnic and religious conflict in Nigeria, scores of Christians were estimated to have been killed in the past month.

People gather to pray at a mass grave for the victims of religious riots, in Nigeria’s central city of Jos December 27, 2010.
(Photo: Reuters/Afolabi Sotunde)

CND said, “Christmas Eve bombings by Islamic extremists touched off tit-for-tat violence that has killed more than 200 people in Plateau state, according to Human Rights Watch.

“In the predominantly Christian Barkin Ladi Government Area on the outskirts of Jos, Muslim assailants led by a police officer from Abuja on Thursday, January 27, 2011, killed 14 Christians, according to a military spokesman, and the next day Muslim youths stabbed two students at the University of Jos on the assumption that they were Christians.

Capt. Charles Ekeocha, spokesman for the Special Task Force (STF) charged with maintaining order in Jos, said the Muslim attackers in the Barkin Ladi area invaded four Christian villages in the early hours of Jan. 27, killing eight Christians in Dorowa, two in Nding Susut, three in Fanloh and one in Nding Jok.

Shocking scene of a massacre of Christians in Jos on a previous attack

“Military forces arrested 29 of the assailants, killing two in the process, he said. At the University of Jos, weekend clashes between students and Hausa Muslim youths following a January 28, 2011, attack by the youths left at least four persons dead and 20 injured,” said the CDN story.

The story added that Christian leaders accused the Muslim minority of trying to take over the control of the state. The North Central Zone of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), in a January 24, 2011, newspaper advertisement, condemned a call by the Plateau State Chapter of the Muslim Council of Ulama for a state of emergency, which they said would leave Muslims in control of the state.

“The ill-concealed Islamic agenda of the Ulamas is to make Plateau state ungovernable so as to justify the truncating of democracy,” the Christian leaders stated.

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