- Title: NIGERIA: Mass burial for hundreds killed in clashes
- Date: 9th March 2010
- Summary: GOGO NAHAWA, NIGERIA (MARCH 08, 2010) (REUTERS) CHRISTIAN CLERGY CONDUCTING FUNERAL PRAYERS VILLAGERS SINGING FUNERAL HYMNS WOMEN SINGING VILLAGERS WAILING AT THE FUNERAL GOVERNMENT TRUCK LIFTING CORPSES FOR BURIAL VILLAGERS MARCHING TO THE BURIAL GROUND CROWD GATHERING ROUND THE MASS GRAVE
- Embargoed: 24th March 2010 12:00
- Location: Nigeria
- Country: Nigeria
- Topics: Crime / Law Enforcement
- Reuters ID: LVABOHAH3GB2H7S97N6IJ3H4G5SH
- Story Text: On Monday (Mar 8), Nigeria buried hundreds of victims of Sunday's sectarian clashes in mass graves in the country's central region.
The latest communal bloodletting between Islamic pastoralists and Christian villagers erupted near the central Nigerian city of Jos, where sectarian violence killed hundreds in January.
The majority of those slaughtered in the early morning attacks were women and children who had tried to flee their homes after hearing gun shots outside, but were hacked to death with machetes as they come out.
Survivors blamed the neighbouring Fulani tribesmen for the massacre.
"For many years people have been living together peacefully even in the crisis of 2002 people were living together among themselves but we don't know what happened, because of the recent crisis of the 17th of January in Jos that engulfed all over; that was it. We knew them according to the facts we have about them here. The Fulanis that stayed here, they are the ones who went and called there friends to come and attack," said Dan Yamu, a resident of Gogo Nahawa village.
"We are so kind to them and at the end of the day they did us bad," said Da Moses Pam Bot, a local government official, added.
In January, four days of sectarian clashes between mobs armed with guns, knives and machetes killed hundreds of people in Jos, the capital of Plateau state, which lies at the crossroads of Nigeria's Muslim north and predominantly Christian south.
The latest unrest in the volatile region comes at a difficult time for Nigeria, with Acting President Goodluck Jonathan trying to assert his authority while the country's ailing leader Umaru Yar'Adua remains too sick to govern.
Jonathan deployed hundreds of troops and police to quell January's unrest, in which community leaders put the death toll at more than 400 while official police figures estimated the death toll at 326.
The instability underscores the fragility of Africa's most populous nation as it approaches the campaign period for 2011 elections with uncertainty over who is in charge.
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