- International rights group, Human Rights Watch has called on Nigeria's vice president to probe the massacre of more than 150 Muslim in central Nigeria. The mass killings follows the Muslim and Chriatian clashes more than a week ago in Jos city.
Human Rights Watch said the killings, allegedly by groups of men armed with knives, machetes, and guns, were in the town of Kuru Karama, 30 kilometers south of the city of Jos in Plateau State in central Nigeria.
Senior West Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch said Corinne Dufka said the authorities should act on those behind the crimes and should protect both the survivors and those at risk of renewed violence.
HRW said witnesses interviewed said that groups of armed men attacked the largely Muslim population of Kuru Karama on 19 January. “After surrounding the town, they hunted down and attacked Muslim residents, some of whom had sought refuge in homes and a local mosque, killing many as they tried to flee and burning many others alive. The witnesses said they believed members of the armed groups to be Christians,” organization said in a statement.
Community leaders from Jos and journalists who visited the town under military escort later in the week told Human Rights Watch that they saw bodies, including several charred corpses of young children and babies, strewn around town, including dozens stuffed down wells or in sewage pits.
According to a Muslim official who visited the town to arrange for burial of the bodies, 121 have been recovered so far, including the bodies of 22 young children. The official told Human Rights Watch that corpses are still lodged in 16 wells. Journalists and community leaders who visited the town said that nearly all of the homes and the three main mosques were burned and destroyed.
The latest outbreak started in Jos on January 17 and quickly spread to neighboring communities, including Kuru Karama. There are conflicting reports of what triggered the Jos violence.
Nigeria is deeply divided along ethnic and religious lines. The violence in Jos on 28 November 2008 left hundreds dead.
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