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Nigerian Police Arrest 120 After Sectarian Clashes


Nigerian police say they have arrested about 120 people in connection with sectarian violence in the northern city of Sokoto.

Sokoto State Police Commissioner Shehu Othman told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the suspects had been arrested Monday and could appear in court at anytime once the police investigation is concluded.

Violence erupted in Sokoto last week following the shooting death of Sunni Muslim cleric Umar Danshiya. Witnesses say unknown gunmen shot Danshiya on Wednesday as he left a mosque after leading prayers.

Danshiya's followers attacked a Shi'ite residential area in retaliation for the shooting. Several people were injured and property was destroyed in the violence.

The Sunni cleric was well-known in the region for his anti-Shi'ite rhetoric.

Sunni Muslims make up a majority in Sokoto. Sunnis and Shi'ites clashed in 2005 over use of the city's central mosque.

Nigeria's 140 million people are divided roughly equally between Christians and Muslims. Religious and ethnic clashes are common.

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