One killed, dozens injured in religious violence in Nigeria's north

Other News Materials 4 February 2008 02:45 (UTC +04:00)

( dpa )- One person was killed and dozens wounded in religious violence Sunday in the Shira council area of Bauchi State in Nigeria's north-east, the state Police Commissioner Adanaya Talman-Gaya has said.

He said that the protesters burnt down a police station and many places of worship in the area.

Talman-Gaya said the protesters torched the police station because police office on duty refused to hand over a woman taking refuge in the station. The woman was accused by the riotous mob of desecrating the Koran, the holy book of Islam, which is the predominant faith in northern Nigeria.

A witness said the incident set off violent unrest, leading to the destruction of many places of worship.

"Sensing danger, the lady in the centre of the crisis rushed to a nearby police station for refuge, but the angry mob besieged the station to demand for her release," the witness said.

"When the policemen on duty refused to succumb to the request, the mob became violent, making the police to open fire. In the Pandemonium which ensued between the rioters and the police, one person was killed."

The killing irritated the angry mob, who set the police station ablaze, the witness said.

Bauchi Governor Isa Yuguda visited the scene Sunday. Four people were killed in a similar confrontation that erupted on December 11-12 in the Yelwa area of Bauchi .

No fewer than 30 people were also killed in February 2006 during a similar religious uprising following the alleged desecration of the Koran by a female teacher in a state-run secondary schools in Bauchi .

In 1991, about 200 people were killed in sectarian violence in Bauchi State.