CHRISTIANS SLAY DOZENS OF MUSLIMS IN NIGERIA
DOZENS OF MOSQUES AND CHURCHES TORCHED
REVENGE ATTACKS FOLLOW MOHAMMED CARTOON RIOTS AND WEEKEND MASSACRE OF CHRISTIANS
Nigeria is plunging into bloody sectarian chaos after religious rioting that began on the weekend continues to spread, having already claimed some 100 lives in the past five days as Christians and Muslims massacre each other in revenge attacks.
On the weekend, an estimate 58 Christians were killed in riots in the north of Nigeria that began as protests against the European publication of images of the Islamic prophet Mohammed in late January.
These riots began in the northern cities of Maiduguri and Katsina and were further inflamed by rumours that a teacher had rebuked students for reading the holy Quran in class. An estimated 40 churches were burned by rioters.
The bodies of the dead were transported down to the city of Onitsha and local Christians began clubbing Muslims to death and torching mosques when they saw the corpses being unloaded from trucks and buses. The Nigerian Sun claims these slayings were revenge attacks.
Mosques, homes and businesses of Muslims were torched and gutted. At least 35 bodies of Muslims were reported by police to be lying in the streets, some decapitated, others had mutilated genitals.
More than 2000 people were evacuated from the city and sheltered in army barracks and police stations as the riots continued to spread.
Dusk to dawn curfews have been activated in at least six Nigerian cities.