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200 Dead in Nigerian Religious Riots -- Witnesses.. (Reuters)

by Reuters Monday, Oct. 15, 2001 at 10:59 AM

``People were slaughtered in Zangon. There cannot be less than 200 killed last night,'' said one of many residents ferried in buses under military escort to Sabon Gari where most non-Muslim immigrants live.

200 Dead in Nigerian Religious Riots -- Witnesses

Sources:   Reuters  |  AP  |  The New York Times  |  ABCNEWS.com  

Sunday October 14 6:23 AM ET

200 Dead in Nigerian Religious Riots -- Witnesses

KANO, Nigeria (Reuters) - At least 200 people have been killed in two days of religious clashes in the northern Nigerian city of Kano triggered by protests against U.S.-led air strikes in Afghanistan, residents said Sunday.

Thousands of people fleeing to safe havens in military barracks reported an orgy of killings overnight by gangs of militants. One of the worst-hit areas was Zangon district on the city's outskirts, a Muslim stronghold with a significant Christian minority. Those fleeing were Christians.

``People were slaughtered in Zangon. There cannot be less than 200 killed last night,'' said one of many residents ferried in buses under military escort to Sabon Gari where most non-Muslim immigrants live.

The federal government of President Olusegun Obasanjo poured in reinforcements of soldiers and police from neighboring states who fanned out across the city, where authorities clamped a night curfew Saturday.

``As I speak with you now, I can see a body burning in the street,'' said a Sabon Gari resident speaking by telephone. ``He appears to be a Muslim who strayed into Sabon Gari.''

At least 20 people were killed in Saturday's violent protests against U.S. military action against Afghanistan's ruling Taliban for refusing to hand over Muslim militant Osama bin Laden, who Washington blames for last month's suicide plane attacks in the United States.

Community leaders said rioters killed at least six female secondary school students who were on their way to sit university entrance exams.

Although Saturday's violence was linked to the bombardment of Afghanistan, it followed a familiar pattern of deadly religious clashes that have rocked Nigeria over the past two years, killing thousands.

Nigeria's population of over 110 million is divided almost evenly between Christians and Muslims. The introduction of Islamic sharia law in some northern states triggered Muslim-Christian fighting in some cities in the region.

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Earlier Stories
At Least 16 Nigerians Killed in Anti-U.S. Protests (October 13)

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