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Violence mars Easter in northern Nigeria

ICC Note

Islamic extremists attacked Christians during Eastern celebration in the Northern Nigerian state of Niger .

By Bob Allen

04/15/2009 Nigeria (ABP) — Easter Sunday turned violent in two cities in Nigeria ‘s northern state of Niger , when young people presumed to be fundamentalist Muslims burned churches in Gwada, while Christian young people in the state capital of Mina defended a Baptist church from a similar fate.

Police reportedly arrested 110 suspects, mostly teenagers, after the attacks. In all about 30 Christians were injured, most either stabbed or hit by stones.

Nigerian media reported that the trouble started in Gwada when a band of onlookers accosted a group of Christian boys who had been marching around town, dancing and playing drums in an Easter parade. From there the mob stormed two Christian churches and set them on fire.

Last November at least 12 Nigerian Baptists were killed and five Baptist churches burned in riots following local elections in the Nigerian state of Plateau, which borders the predominantly Muslim north and mainly Christian south of the country.

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