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Nigeria names panel to probe religious killings
afrol News, 2 February - Nigerian authorities have named a 15-member panel to probe the Muslim and Christian clashes in Jos city, central Nigeria, that killed over 300 people last month.
The Vice President’s spokesman, Ima Niboro, said a panel composed of members of both religious groups, politicians, former army generals and women’s rights activists.
Last month, International rights group, Human Rights Watch, called on Nigeria's vice president to probe the massacre of more than 150 Muslim in central Nigeria. The mass killings followed the Muslim and Christian clashes more than a week ago in Jos city.
Human Rights Watch said the killings, allegedly by groups of men armed with knives, machetes, and guns, were in the town of Kuru Karama, 30 kilometers south of the city of Jos in Plateau State in central Nigeria.
Religious crises have plagued the nation since independence and only recently in Jos, the Plateau state capital, over 300 lives were lost in an ethnic conflict in December 2009, which, as usual, eventually took the complexion of a religious battle between Christians and Muslims.
Earlier in July, an Islamic sect called Boko Haram staged attacks on security operatives across states in Northern Nigeria, calling for the imposition of Sharia Law on Nigeria. Last December, another sect, the Kalo Kuta, also staged series of attacks in Bauchi state.
The latest outbreak started in Jos on January 17 and quickly spread to neighboring communities, including Kuru Karama. There are conflicting reports of what triggered the Jos violence.
Nigeria is deeply divided along ethnic and religious lines. The violence in Jos on 28 November 2008 left hundreds dead.
By staff writer
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