Saturday, January 23, 2010

"Credible reports of a massacre" of Muslims in Nigeria

As new grim details emerge about the recent outbreak of religious violence in Nigeria, there is mounting evidence of a targeted massacre of Muslims by an organized group of armed Christians.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) now says there are "credible reports of a massacre of at least 150 Muslim residents" of the Nigerian town of Kuru Karama, 30 kilometers south of the city of Jos in Plateau State in central Nigeria.

According to HRW, the killings were carried out "allegedly by groups of men armed with knives, machetes, and guns":
Witnesses interviewed by Human Rights Watch said that groups of armed men attacked the largely Muslim population of Kuru Karama around 10 a.m. on January 19, 2010. 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.

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.
Go to HRW's website to read more.

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