Sun, May 16, 2004 - Page 7 News List

More Christians flee strife torn Nigerian city

REUTERS , KANO, NIGERIA

Christians chased out of their homes by Muslims during bloody riots in Nigeria's northern city of Kano boarded buses to leave town as fresh clashes broke out on Friday.

Rioting Muslim mobs have burned and hacked to death hundreds of people, mostly Christians, since Tuesday in reprisals for the slaying of hundreds of Muslims in central Nigeria 10 days ago.

"People are saturated with fear, especially today being Friday, so they are leaving," said Adamson Gbangange, from Gombe in eastern Nigeria, as he boarded a bus out of Kano.

Clashes erupted again in the Badawa district of Nigeria's second largest city on Friday, hours after the end of Muslim Friday prayers, aid workers said. Several blood-soaked victims bearing head wounds arrived at Kano's main hospital.

More than 10,000 Christians, many hungry and penniless, camped in police barracks across the city to escape rampaging youths armed with knives and petrol.

"There are so many people that our 20 bags of rice cannot even give them one meal," said Reverend Andrew Ubah, the head of the Christian Association of Nigeria in Kano.

At least 1,000 Nigerians have probably died in religious fighting across the oil exporting country in the last two weeks, although officials decline to provide credible death tolls.

Ubah estimated that 1,000 people had been killed in the Kano riots alone, while hospital workers spoke of hundreds dead. The official death toll stands at 30.

An aid worker said she saw three truck loads of corpses delivered to Kano's main hospital.

"On Wednesday evening they brought in two trailer loads of bodies. There was one trailer load the previous day. A lot of people were killed. I think it is even more than 600," said the medical worker, asking not to be named.

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