200+ dead in Nigeria violence – HRW
Nairobi - More than 200 people have died in Central Nigeria in a wave of ethnic and religious clashes triggered by bombings on Christmas Eve, Human Rights Watch said.
According to HRW, many of the victims, including children, were hacked to death or burned alive in tit-for-tat killings that took place in Plateau State.
"These waves of senseless killings risk spreading and have taken a terrible toll on the people of Plateau State," said Corinne Dufka, senior West Africa researcher at HRW. "Both the state and federal governments have shown a disturbing lack of urgency in addressing the violence and tackling the underlying causes of these deadly outbreaks."
The town of Jos and the surrounding region has been the scene of brutal violence over the past few years. Around 700 people were killed in the first few months of 2010, adding to thousands more deaths over the previous decade.
While the violence appears sectarian, observers say its real roots lie in the battle for resources between the indigenous Christians and settler Hausa-Fulani Muslim communities from the north.