21 killed in religious riots in Nigeria

Associated Press / September 3, 2011

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JOS, Nigeria - Religious rioting in the central Nigerian city of Jos has killed at least 21 people in recent days, as authorities appeared unable to curb rising violence.

An Associated Press journalist counted 21 bodies awaiting burial at the city’s central mosque yesterday. At Jos University Teaching Hospital, doctors collected at least 12 bodies with gunshot and machete wounds, while another 82 were wounded in fighting in the city, said Dr. Stephen Yohanna, the hospital’s chief medical director.

Families had begun collecting the dead yesterday, so it was unclear whether the 12 dead at the hospital were among the dead at the central mosque. The Stefanos Foundation, a local group which tallies casualties in conflicts in Jos, had yet to finish a count of the community’s dead yesterday, said foundation coordinator Mark Lipdo.

The violence began Monday in Jos, a city on the volatile dividing line between Nigeria’s largely Christian south and Muslim north. Rioters armed with machetes attacked Muslims praying to mark the end of Ramadan in a mostly Christian neighborhood, said Nigeria’s National Emergency Management Agency.

Though army and police units moved into the affected neighborhood late Monday, the violence spilled into other neighborhoods as the unrest continued throughout the week.

Police and military officials declined to comment yesterday.

Most of the dead at the hospital bore gunshot wounds, Yohanna said, typically a sign that security forces killed them. top stories on Twitter

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