Police reinforce presence to quell fighting in Nasarawa

Lagos- Nigeria (PANA) -- More policemen have been dispatched to Nigeria's central state of Nasarawa as the 17-day communal violence in there escalated, causing about 200 deaths.
Media reports Thursday quoted State Police Commissioner Umar Suleiman as saying that additional police personnel had been dispatched from Lagos and nearby Abuja, the federal capital, to quell down the fighting.
The clashes started 12 June between the Hausa-speaking Azara people, the original settlers and the Tivs who migrated from nearby Benue state, following the murder of the chief of Azara, Musa Ibrahim, by unknown persons.
The fighting reportedly worsened this week with attacks on Tudun Adabu, Aguchi, Agaza and Giza villages of Obi and Keana local government councils.
Unconfirmed reports said the traditional ruler of Tundun Adabu was killed in the clashes.
On Tuesday alone, as many as 40 people, including babies some of whom had their heads either smashed against the wall or macheted, were reported killed and several others injured.
Doctors at the state's specialist hospital in Lafia, the state capital, were working round the clock to save the lives of the injured.
Youths, angry at the sight of so many dead bodies and the injured, rioted in the capital city of Lafia, burning several houses, including a popular hotel.
The renewed fighting has forced many inhabitants of the affected areas to seek refuge elsewhere, including Abuja, which is less than two hours drive from Abuja.
Governor Abdullahi Adamu has appealed for calm while expressing sympathy with the families of the dead and the injured.
Adamu said he was in touch with the federal government and would take "necessary measures" to bring the situation under control.
He said he would order a military presence in the areas if the fighting persists.

28 june 2001 12:54:00

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