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Nigerian Christians Strike Back At Muslims

No turning the other cheek here.

From the New York Times:

People pass by bodies amid burning tires and debris Thursday in a street in Onitsha, Nigeria. Muslims fled the city and corpses still smoldered in its streets Thursday as two days of sectarian violence that killed scores.

Christian mobs kill Muslims in Nigeria; homes, shops looted

By Lydia Polgreen
February 24, 2006

ONITSHA, Nigeria – Charred bodies littered the streets of this bustling commercial center yesterday after three days of rioting in which Christian mobs wielding machetes, clubs and knives set upon their Muslim neighbors.

Rioters have killed scores of people here, mostly Muslims, after burning their homes, businesses and mosques in the worst violence yet linked to the caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad first published in a Danish newspaper. The violence erupted after similar attacks on Christians in northern Nigeria last week by Muslims infuriated over the cartoons.

Old ethnic and political tensions between Muslims in the north and Christians here in the south have been refueled, with at least 33 bodies still visible on the streets yesterday.

The riots in Onitsha were ignited when a busload of the bodies of Ibo victims of violence in the north returned home this week.

The cycle of tit-for-tat sectarian violence has pushed the total death toll in the last week well beyond 100, making Nigeria the hardest-hit country in the caricature controversy.

The main thoroughfare leading into the city across the Niger River was covered in bodies of Muslim Hausas who had tried to flee rampaging bands of youths, witnesses said. Many victims appeared to have been beaten to death; most bodies had been doused with gasoline and burned.

Residents combed through destroyed shops and homes of Muslims to loot.

“These things belong to Igbos,” said Sunday Tagbo, 25, referring to the dominant ethnic group of this region, more commonly known as Ibos, as he helped himself to sooty car parts left behind by fleeing merchants. “This is Igbo land. No more Muslims can live here.”

For whatever reason there are now dozens of photos available that show the damage done to the Moslems by the Christians in Nigeria. Yet I can still only find two photos about the Moslems attack upon Christians, neither of which shows any damage whatsoever.

And this and other accounts seem to want to downplay the number of Christian deaths, which has been placed elsewhere over 130.

It will be interesting to see if fighting back stops the attacks. Nigeria seems to be the only place where it has been tried to any extent.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, February 24th, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

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