'Sophisticated attacks' on Nigerian villages

2012-07-09 07:41
Nigeria violence (File)

Nigeria violence (File)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Jos - Raids and reprisal attacks have left 58 people dead in Christian villages near a Nigerian city where authorities have struggled to contain religious violence, officials said on Sunday.

Assailants launched "sophisticated attacks" on several villages near Jos early Saturday, said Mustapha Salisu, spokesperson for a special taskforce made up of policemen and soldiers deployed in the area to curb years of violence.

"They came in hundreds," Salisu said. "Some had (police) uniforms and some even had bulletproof vests."

He said the special taskforce fought back for hours and lost two policemen in the battle. Salisu initially said that 37 people were killed including 14 civilians and 21 assailants.

However, late Sunday, Nigerian Red Cross official Andronicus Adeyemo said aid workers had counted 56 dead and more than 300 displaced people from the attacks. He did not give a breakdown.

Seven people hurt

He said the killing of a federal lawmaker and a state lawmaker brought the deaths to 58 after the two officials were ambushed on Sunday afternoon on their way to a mass burial for the victims.

The state government's press officer, James Mannock, said they were Senator Gyang Dantong and majority leader of the Plateau State House of Assembly Gyang Fulani.

A third lawmaker hurt in the ambush was one of seven people injured, Adeyemo said.

"As a nation, we must rise against those who are determined to return us to a state of nature where life has little or no value," Nigerian Senate President David Mark said in a statement.

Authorities declined to comment on who they suspect, but similar raids have been blamed on Muslim herdsmen in the past.

Mark Lipdo, who runs a Christian advocacy group known as the Stefanos Foundation, gave a list of the 13 villages where he got reports of attacks. He said they were all Christian.

He blamed Muslim herdsmen of the Fulani ethnic group for the attacks. However, Nurudeen Abdullahi, Plateau State Chairman of Miyetti Allah Fulani Herdsmen Association, denied any involvement by the herdsmen.

"This a usual propaganda used on our people but we are not the ones that attacked the villages in the area," he said.

Ethnic violence

Abdullahi accused Christian farmers of attacking Muslim settlements and stealing their cows.

Jos and surrounding the Plateau state have been torn apart in recent years by violence pitting its different ethnic groups and major religions - Christianity and Islam - against each other. While divided by religion, politics and economics often fuel the fighting.

These are just the latest killings to target the Riyom and Barkin Ladi local government areas, regions of farmlands that supply produces like potatoes, corn and tomatoes to the rest of the nation.

Nigeria, a multiethnic nation of more than 160 million people, is largely divided into a mainly Christian south and a predominantly Muslim north. Jos is located in the "middle belt," at the meeting point of these two regions.

Bomb found

Human Rights Watch says at least 1 000 people were killed in communal clashes around Jos in 2010.

However, the rise of a northern-based Islamist insurgency known as Boko Haram has added a new dimension to the long-running conflict, fanning religious tensions in this flashpoint area.

Salisu said authorities discovered a bomb and safely detonated it late Friday in a populated neighbourhood in the city of Jos.

They declined to say who they suspect but sect members have claimed responsibility for bomb attacks in Jos in the past.

All previous Jos attacks have targeted churches, a deliberate move to trigger more religious violence, many have said. They all sparked reprisals.
- AP
Read more on:    boko haram  |  nigeria  |  west africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
4 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Music

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 40% off fashion accessories

Save up to 40% on selected handbags, purses, watches, jewellery and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2000 on top electronics

Get every day mind bowing savings on top electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

As seen on TV - New book releases at only R199 each

Get mind blowing book savings on new titles. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to 50% on Women’s month treats!

Celebrate the awesome women in your life with awesome treats like beauty products, fashion accessories, bestselling books, electronics and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The spotlight may be on you and you need to perform. This can be overwhelming and you need to stay as focussed and centred as you...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.