Monday, March 8, 2010

Nigerian Death Toll "Hits 500": New York Times

Journalist Adam Nossiter has filed a report with the New York Times confirming that over 500 people have been massacred in the most recent outbreak of religious violence in Nigeria.

Essentially all of the victims were Christians who were systematically slaughtered in well planned attacks on villages south of the city of Jos. Over 400 victims have been buried in a mass grave in just one village alone: Dogon Na Hawa.

Will Connors, writing for the Wall Street Journal, names four different villages that were attacked: Dogo Nahawa, Rasat, Zot and Shen. Connors description of how the attacks were carried out is chilling:
The attackers came at night and surrounded this small farming village, firing shots in the air to scare residents from their homes. Men, women and children were hacked with machetes as they rushed out. Several houses were set on fire with residents still inside . . . .

Officials and witnesses say the latest attack appeared well planned and brutally executed. The attackers didn't shoot victims, but rather shot into the air to lure residents out of their homes, where they awaited them with machetes.

Hundreds slaughtered in Nigerian religious violence

The Nigerian city of Jos and surrounding areas have once again been witness to religious bloodshed on a horrific scale.

In January, hundreds of Nigerians in the city of Jos and surrounding areas died in violence between Muslims and Christians. Most of the dead were Muslims, many of them women and children, massacred by Christian mobs, who then stuffed many of the bodies down wells.

And now a wave of reprisal attacks, on at least as murderous a scale as those in January, has occurred. Preliminary reports are that predominantly Christian areas of Jos and nearby villages were the target. One Christian village, Zot, has been nearly wiped out, according to eye-witnesses.

One report out of Nigeria puts the number killed at "more than 500."

Sadly, this is just the latest chapter in the ongoing story of deadly violence between Christians and Muslims that has taken thousands of lives over the last two decades in Nigeria, the most populous (and one of the wealthiest and most "developed") nations on the African continent.