Death toll in Nigeria attacks rises to at least 41: police
The death toll from violence in Nigeria has risen to at least 41 following a series of bomb blasts, attacks on churches and reprisals, police said today, as soldiers patrolled to prevent further unrest.world Updated: Dec 27, 2010 16:53 IST
The death toll from violence in Nigeria has risen to at least 41 following a series of bomb blasts, attacks on churches and reprisals, police said on Monday, as soldiers patrolled to prevent further unrest.
A number of houses were also burnt when clashes broke out on Sunday in the wake of Christmas Eve bomb blasts in the central city of Jos that killed dozens, said state police commissioner Abdulrahman Akano.
But he denied a community leader's claim that 14 bodies had been recovered following Sunday's clashes. The community leader also said 23 houses were found burnt along with a church and a mosque.
"My records show three killed," Akano told AFP of Sunday's violence. He was vague on how many buildings were burnt and declined to provide further details.
Mohammed Shittu, a leader in the Hausa Muslim community in Jos who headed a search and rescue team, said 14 bodies were recovered and 23 houses were burned following Sunday's clashes. He said another 33 people were wounded.
A mass burial was being prepared for the victims, he said.
Christian leaders in the area could not immediately provide numbers of victims.
At least 32 people were killed and 74 wounded when seven explosions went off in two different areas of Jos on Friday evening, with many of the victims doing their Christmas shopping at the time. A church was also targeted, the governor has said.
On the same night, suspected members of an Islamist sect that launched an uprising last year attacked three churches in northern Nigeria, leaving six people dead and one of the churches burnt.
There was no indication the incidents in the vast country's north and central regions were linked.
Jos is in the so-called middle-belt region between the predominantly Muslim north and the mainly Christian south and has long been a hotspot of ethnic and religious friction in Nigeria.
Many attribute the unrest in Jos to the struggle for economic and political power between the Christian Beroms, seen as the indigenous ethnic group in the region, and the Hausa-Fulani Muslims, viewed as the more recent arrivals.