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Nigeria's Riot-Hit City Calm, Curfew Relaxed


The International Red Cross estimates 17,000 people have been displaced and are taking shelter in schools, military barracks and hospitals.

Thousands of residents are returning to their homes in the central Nigerian city of Jos, after four days of sectarian violence that killed at least 200 people and injured more than 1,000. Troops and police have restored calm prompting the authorities to relax a 24-hour curfew.

Jos remains tense with hundreds of troops and police patrolling the streets. The heavy presence of Nigerian security forces has helped to prevent further outbreaks of violence. The International Red Cross estimates 17,000 people have been displaced and are taking shelter in schools, military barracks and hospitals.

Interior Minister Shetima Mustapha says the violence has ended and security forces are in full control of the situation.

"As at now, security agencies are on top of the situation and Mr. Vice President is in full control of the situation," he said. "And of course we will continue to pray that these things should subside and never shall we see this kind of thing in this country. But I want people to rest assured that the government is doing everything possible to control the situation."

The authorities eased a 24-hour curfew to allow residents to return to their homes and stock up on food and other essentials.

The U.S. embassy in Nigeria has asked the Nigerian government to prosecute all those responsible for the violence in Jos. "We condemn mob violence in the strongest possible terms," a statement in Abuja said.

A member of the Nigerian senate, James Manager, says recommendations by investigators of previous religious clashes should be implemented as a lasting solution to the recurring crises.

"Here is a country where commissions have been set up everyday about crises but no results arising from the implementation of those commissions," he said.

The violence was between indigenous Christians and Muslim settlers. Jos has a history of sectarian violence.

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