Nigeria explodes in violence again
Despite massive efforts by security officers in the northern Nigerian city of Kano, Muslims continue a deadly riot against Christians in the suburbs of the city.
As is usual in such situations, details are sketchy and contradictory. Police say 10 people have been killed in two days of rioting, but an eyewitness said he saw at least that many corpses in one place alone.
Nath Ikyur told Reuters that Muslims were stopping cars along Bayero University Kano Road, killing those who didn't pledge allegiance to Islam.
"I saw at least 10 dead bodies on the BUK road," he said. "I saw a group of five burned bodies at one point. Some of the others were cut with machetes."
Another Nigerian corroborated this story in an interview with the Associated Press, saying drivers and passengers were forced to recite Muslim prayers. An AP reporter said she saw three women attacked with machetes at such a checkpoint, after one of the Muslims accused them of being "nonbelievers" because they wore Western-style clothing. Taxi drivers intervened before the women were killed, but they suffered head wounds.
Soldiers are preventing journalists from entering the areas of conflict, the AFP news service reports, so don't expect too much on-site reporting for now. Meanwhile, reporters say at least 5,000 area Christians are now refugees after fleeing their homes for fear of their lives.
"Many people have been killed in Sharada, but we have not been able to bring out their bodies, because we had to look to our own lives," Joshua Adamu told the South African news service SAPA.
It looks like the violence will get worse before it gets better. "Everywhere the hoodlums are taking laws into their own hands," Kano's police chief told reporters today. "They are coming in large numbers in different parts of the town."
"There are signs that the anger is spreading to other parts of Nigeria's Muslim north," reports AFP.
This latest attack was sparked by a march protesting last week's Christian attack against Muslims in Yelwa that reportedly left between 500 and 600 dead. In March, Muslims reportedly killed 1,500 Christians in attacks throughout Plateau state.
What can stop the violence? a BBC forum asks. So far, there are no responses.
Copyright © 2004 Christianity Today. Click for reprint information.
Suggest links and stories by sending e-mail to email@example.com
Check out Books & Culture's weekly weblog, Content & Context.
See our past Weblog updates:
May 11 | 10
May 7 | 6 | 5 | 4 | 3
April 30 | 29 | 28 | 27 | 26
April 23 | 22 | 21 | 20 | 19
April 16 | 15 | 14 | 13 | 12
April 8 | 7 | 5
and more, back to November 1999
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 65+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more
Read These Next
- TrendingDon’t Pretend the Ugandan Homosexuality Law Is ChristianNot everything that’s a sin is a crime—let alone one punishable by death.简体中文繁體中文
- From the MagazineEve’s Legacy Is Both Sin and RedemptionThe first woman tried to get free of God. But when she aligned herself with God’s purposes, she became the ‘Mother of All the Living.’
- RelatedThe 50 Countries Where It’s Most Dangerous to Follow Jesus in 2021Latest report on Christian persecution finds 3 in 4 martyrs are in Nigeria, ranked among 10 worst persecutors for first time.españolPortuguêsالعربيةFrançais简体中文한국어DeutschIndonesian繁體中文русскийcatalàGalego
- Editor's PickPCA’s 50th Anniversary Comes During a Season of GriefPresbyterians expect less fight and more fatigue as they gather following the Covenant shooting and the deaths of Harry Reeder and Tim Keller.