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Death Toll Rises in Nigerian Sectarian Violence


At least 93 people have died in Muslim-Christian violence in Nigeria over the past five days.

Christian mobs in the city of Onitsha killed at least 20 people, mostly Muslims, on Wednesday.

Witnesses describe a bloody scene with Christian rioters using machetes to slash and mutilate their victims. At one point, soldiers used force against the rioters to block more attacks.

The violence in Onitsha began Tuesday when at least 30 people were killed during Christian attacks on Muslims.

Those riots were in reprisal for riots targeting Christians in Nigeria's largely Muslim north. At least 33 people, mostly Christians, were killed when Muslims rioted in the cities of Bauchi and Maiduguri earlier in the week.

The violence began in Maiduguri during Muslim protests against Danish cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

Sectarian violence is not uncommon in Nigeria, whose 140 million people are split almost evenly between the Muslim north and Christian south.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.