Nigeria religious violence kills as many as 50


The site of the Easter bombing in Kaduna on April 8, 2012. A car bomb blast outside a church in northern Nigeria on Easter Sunday killed at least 41 people and put the country on alert over fears of further attacks, rescue officials and residents said. Motorcycle taxi drivers and passers-by caught much of the blast.



Attacks on villages surrounding a central Nigerian city have killed as many as 50 people in religious violence between Christians and Muslims.

Reports on the number of people killed in the past week vary, with some saying up to 50 have lost their lives and others putting the number at 36.

The military said on Saturday that the latest deaths were in addition to at least 23 killed in attacks on March 20 and 21.

An assault on Wednesday is said to have killed 28 people in a village in the Riyom area, while 18 civilians were killed in an attack in the Bokkos area. Later in the week, at least nine people killed in the Barkin Ladi area.

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"Unknown gunmen suspected to be Fulanis attacked and killed nine persons there and three were injured," said security task force spokesman Lieutenant Jude Akpa.

Violence that began Monday has seen ethnic Fulani Muslims raid Christian villages in Plateau state. It is considered the Middle Belt region, which divides the south, which is mostly Christian, from the North, which is mostly Muslim.

A military helicopter could be seen over the area on Saturday as security was tightened for the Easter holidays.

Officials could not give a reason for the latest outbreak of violence in the villages, but said these types of flare-ups are usually because of community disputes over land or cattle.