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Nigeria Christian Killed In Riot Over Blasphemy; Dozens Injured

ICC Note

A Christian police man was killed during the riot by Islamic extremists in Kano State . Two Christians were also injured during the violence.

Wednesday, 13 February 2008 Nigeria (BosNewsLife)- A tense calm returned Wednesday, February 13, to a town in Nigeria’s predominantly Muslim North, where at least two people, including a Christian policeman, were killed and two Christian teenagers injured during a violent protest sparked by a leaflet insulting the Prophet Mohammed, Christians and police said.

The riot apparently broke out over the weekend in Sumaila town in Kano state when a group of youths protested the circulation of the leaflet.

Speaking at the site of the violence, the Deputy Governor of the State, Abdullahi Gwarzo, told reporters that a “mob” trailed one of a group of Christian students of the Government Secondary School on suspicion of involvement in the controversial publication.

Local churches have denied the charges saying Muslims distributed the leaflet as a pretext for attacking Christians. Gwarzo said violence broke out when police refused to surrender the “suspect” to an angry crowd of Muslims. He said the mob soon began attacking the Sumaila police outpost and vehicles parked outside the building.

Police Officer

One police officer, a Christian identified as Inspector Jibrin Garba, and a civilian were killed in the violent confrontation. Two other Christian teenagers were injured along with dozens others, witnesses said. Dozens of people were reportedly detained for their involvement in the riot.

Similar deadly clashes occurred in another area of Kano state last October. And earlier this month, one person was killed and dozens wounded in religious violence in the Shira council area of Bauchi State , also a predominantly Muslim state in Nigeria ‘s north-east.

The Bauchi protesters also burnt down a police station and places of worship in the area because police officers on duty reportedly refused to hand over a woman taking refuge in the station after being accused of desecrating the Koran.

A year ago 30 people were killed during a similar religious uprising following the alleged desecration of the Koran by a female teacher in a state-run secondary school in Bauchi. In 1991, about 200 people were killed in sectarian violence in Bauchi state, according to official


In another incident, a Muslim man’s failed attempt to marry a young Christian woman resulted in him accusing her of “blasphemy” triggering violence in the Nigerian town of Yana . The clashes on Februay 1 reportedly left at least one person dead, seven Christians hospitalized and five churches destroyed. (With reports from Nigeria ).