Religious clashes flare in central Nigeria
Jos, Nigeria, December 26, 2010
Clashes broke out between armed Christian and Muslim groups near the central Nigerian city of Jos on Sunday, a Reuters witness said, after Christmas Eve bombings in the region killed more than 30 people.
Buildings were set ablaze and people were seen running for cover as the police and military arrived on the scene in an effort to disperse crowds.
"Houses are on fire all over the place and I can see injured people covered in blood being dragged by friends and family towards the hospital," the Reuters witness said.
The unrest was triggered by explosions on Christmas Eve in villages near Jos, capital of Plateau state, that killed at least 32 people and left 74 critically injured.
Vice President Namadi Sambo will travel to Jos on Sunday.
"The vice president is on his way to Jos to make an effort to quell this crisis," Sambo's spokesman said.
Hundreds of people died in religious and ethnic clashes at the start of the year in Nigeria's "Middle Belt", where the mostly Muslim north meets the largely Christian south.
The tensions are rooted in decades of resentment between indigenous groups, mostly Christian or animist, who are vying for control of fertile farmlands and for economic and political power with mostly Muslim migrants and settlers from the north. - Reuters