Friday, November 23, 2012

Reports of Unrest In Northern Nigerian City of Kano

Four feared killed in fresh Kano violence

Thursday, 22 November 2012 00:00 From Murtala Muhammed, Kano (with agency report) News - National
Nigerian Guardian

Police deny casualties, re-impose

NO fewer than four people were Thursday feared killed in Bichi town in Kano State were Muslim youths went on rampage after rumours went round that someone blasphemed the Prophet Mohamed.

However, the State Police Command has denied that four persons were killed in the crisis, insisting that no life was lost.

Meanwhile, the Police Command has re-imposed restriction on motorbikes with effect from Thursday from to 6am.

According to an Egypt-based online medium, ahramonline, a mispronunciation taken to be blasphemous in Bichi sparked a riot by Muslim youths, leaving four people dead as well as a church and shops burnt, police and residents said.

“What happened in Bichi was misinformation,” Kano State Police Commissioner, Ibrahim Idris told reporters. “Rumours went round that someone blasphemed the Prophet and there was a breakdown of law and order.”

Residents reported four people dead along with the church and Christians-owned shops burnt.

According to Idris, a Christian tailor mispronounced the name of a dress while chatting with his Muslim neighbour in Hausa, the major language spoken in the north, changing the meaning to ‘the Prophet has come to the market’.

Idris, however, denied that anyone was killed, though residents spoke of the deaths. Bichi is located some 30 kilometres from Kano, the largest city in Nigeria’s mainly Muslim north.

“Four people were killed in the attacks. One of them was thrown into a ditch near my house,” one resident said, referring to a mainly Christian ethnic group.

“Scores of shops owned by Christians and a church were burnt by a large mob of Muslim youth who set bonfires on the road and disrupted traffic.”

Another resident said he saw four dead bodies “hacked with machetes by the rioters”.

As at the time of filing this report, the situation had been brought to normalcy as residents went about their lawful businesses.

When contacted however, the State Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Musa Magaji Majiya, insisted that no casualty was recorded.

Idris hinted this at a press briefing at Kano, maintaining that series of attacks by faceless men on bikes in recent times had compelled the state government to direct the command to re-enforce their restriction in the metropolis.

Idris pointed out the recent killings of members of Kano State House of Assembly, attacks on Kwari and bureau-de-change markets as necessary indication of new strategy by men of the underworld to perpetrate evil in the metropolis.

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