16 die in Nigeria communal clash

Lagos- Nigeria (PANA) -- At least 16 persons were killed, 10 others wounded and five houses razed after three days of communal violence in the Mgbowo community in Nigeria's southeastern state of Enugu, local press reports said Wednesday.
Some residents of the community said the police triggered the violence by shooting six of the youths that were protesting the security agents' interference in the activities marking the community's yearly cultural festival on Saturday.
They alleged that some prominent members of the community, who feared that their opponents might turn the festival into a political platform, invited the policemen.
But a spokesman for the state police command, Mike Abattam, denied the allegation, saying the violence was triggered by protest against the creation of two autonomous communities from the area by the State government.
Indications are that the violence has now subsided, following Monday's visit to the community by the State police commissioner, Charles Dawodu.
Communal and sectarian violence have claimed thousands of lives in Africa's most populous nation in the past eight years.

12 july 2006 08:43:00

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