Tuesday, August 30, 2011

20 People Killed In Fresh violence In Jos

No fewer than 20 people were feared killed and more than 20 wounded in renewed violence in Jos Plateau on Monday.

The victims were allegedly shot by soldiers who escorted some Muslims to pray at the prayer ground.

At least, 50 vehicles were also reportedly burnt in the clashes between some rival Muslim and Christian youth groups in the metropolis. Some were said to have met their death in Apata area, mostly inhabited by the Igbo.

The clash was said to have occurred when some operatives of the Special Task Force and the police tried to escort some Muslims back to their homes after they had gone to observe their Sallah prayers.

On sighting the Muslims youths, who were chanting Allahu Akbar, the youths went berserk. Attempts by the security agents to disperse them were resisted. It was gathered that in the process shots were fired into the air to scare them.

Some youths from Gada Biu, who stormed the Press Centre of the Nigerian Union of Journalists in Jos on Monday, said a group of Muslims who had gone to pray were on the way back shouting of Allahu Akbar.

Their spokesman, Mr. Yusuf Khadiya, told newsmen that in the pandemonium, soldiers shot indiscriminately into the air. The soldiers were alleged to have shot directly into the Kabong Market where most of the casualties were recorded.

He said three youths were killed in Kabong alone.

Police Commissioner, Mr. Diipo Ayeni, could not confirm the figures. He told our correspondent in an interview that the reports were still being collated. He however said the situation had been brought under control and appealed to the residents to go about their normal duties.

Tensions had enveloped Jos on Friday when reports started filtering in that a group of people planned to attack Jos during the Sallah celebrations.

This had prompted the state police command to issue a statement warning residents to avoid some areas during the celebrations.

Ayeni, in the statement announced the closure of some major roads in Jos the state capital and authorisation of certain routes for passage on Sallah day.

By Monday morning tension had built up; traders avoided their shops, while students on summer lessons stayed indoors.

Banks along Murtala Mohammed Way and popular Ahmadu Bello Way business area of the Jos City quickly shut their doors to customers while their security guards and armed policemen attached to the banks patrol round the bank premises.

One of the roads to be blocked include Abattoir Road as people wishing to take that route, are expected to pass through Dogon Karfe through old Airport junction instead.

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