News / Africa

Buildings Burn in Latest Central Nigeria Clashes

Buildings Burn in Latest Central Nigeria Clashes
Buildings Burn in Latest Central Nigeria Clashes
Witnesses report renewed violence in the Nigerian city of Jos, where authorities are trying to halt a wave of fighting between Muslim and Christian gangs.

Residents say rioters set fire to at least two fuel stations and a number of cars and buildings Saturday.

Witnesses say as many as 15 people were killed in the violence, though local officials could not confirm the figure.

The unrest began Friday, when assailants stabbed three students at the University of Jos.  Students at the school later tried to mount a protest march but were fired on by government soldiers.  

Reports that some of the students had died triggered Saturday's rioting. School officials say in fact, none of the students were killed, though about 14 were injured.

On Thursday, a separate bout of sectarian clashes near Jos killed 12 people.

Residents of Jos and Nigeria's Plateau state have been on edge for weeks, as authorities struggle to bring the violence under control.

The unrest stems from tensions between Muslims and Christians competing for power in the area. Jos is located in Nigeria's so-called Middle Belt, where the mostly Muslim north meets the mainly Christian south.  

Nigeria's 140 million people are divided roughly evenly between the two religious groups.  Sectarian violence in and around Jos has killed thousands of people over the past decade.

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