KANO, Nigeria (AFP) “” Police arrested seven people in connection with Muslim-Christian clashes in northern Nigeria as the death toll from the weekend unrest rose to 11, police and Red Cross officials said Monday.
“So far the number of those killed stands at 11,” police spokesman Mohammed Barau told AFP by telephone from Bauchi state of sectarian clashes there that left 38 wounded.
Six churches and roughly a dozen houses were also torched, a Red Cross official said.
Muslim youths went on a rampage Saturday, attacking Christians and burning churches. They said their acts were reprisals for the burning of two mosques overnight in the state capital Bauchi.
Authorities in the city have deployed troops and imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew in seven areas affected by the violence.
“Normalcy has been restored,” Barau said.
But dozens nursed injuries in a state better known as home to one of Nigeria’s major national parks.
“We have 38 persons who sustained varying degrees of injuries in the violence,” Bauchi Red Cross secretary Adamu Abubakar told AFP.
Hundreds of others displaced by the violence have sought refuge in military barracks, churches and two camps erected by the Red Cross.
Tensions have risen in Bauchi, a city of four million, since February 13 when Pentecostal Christians barricaded a pathway used by Muslims attending Friday prayers at a nearby mosque, residents said.
The initial story, linked above, offers a much different account, in which the alleged “barricade” was actually a broken-down truck.
Bauchi suffered bloody sectarian strife in 2004 when Muslim-Christian violence in the town of Tafawa Balewa, some 100 kilometres (62 miles) away, spilled over to the city, and houses, mosques and churches were burnt.