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One killed, dozens injured in Nigeria violence

One person has been killed and dozens others injured in violence that sparked in northeastern Nigeria over disrespecting Islam, a top police official has said.

world Updated: Feb 04, 2008 12:45 IST
DPA

One person has been killed and dozens others injured in violence that sparked in northeastern Nigeria over disrespecting Islam, a top police official has said.

The protesters burnt down a police station and many places of worship in Shira council area of Nigeria's northeastern province of Bauchi during the violence Sunday, said Adanaya Talman-Gaya, state police commissioner.

He said the protesters torched the police station because officers on duty refused to hand over a woman taking refuge there. The woman was accused by the riotous mob of desecrating the Koran, the holy book of Islam, which is the predominant faith in northern Nigeria.

A witness said the incident set off violent unrest, leading to the destruction of many places of worship.

"Sensing danger, the lady in the centre of the crisis rushed to a nearby police station for refuge, but the angry mob besieged the station to demand her release," the witness said.

"When the policemen on duty refused to succumb to the request, the mob became violent, making the police open fire. In the pandemonium which ensued between the rioters and the police, one person was killed."

The killing irritated the angry mob, which set the police station ablaze, the witness said.

Bauchi Governor Isa Yuguda visited the site on Sunday.

Four people were killed in a similar confrontation that erupted Dec 11-12 last year in the Yelwa area of Bauchi.

At least 30 people were also killed in February 2006 during a similar religious uprising following the alleged desecration of the Koran by a female teacher in a state-run secondary school in Bauchi.

In 1991, about 200 people were killed in sectarian violence in Bauchi State.