Friday, 2 April 2010

Religious hatred between Muslims and Christians - Nigeria

Peter Oborne's (Daily Mail) chilling report on religious hatred between Muslims and Christians:

There was total silence, apart from birdsong, when we entered the village of Kuru Karama. Every building had been burnt or destroyed. There were no villagers in sight, just two or three soldiers at a guard post dozing in the late afternoon sun.

At length, we found a group of young men and women. Did they live here? Yes. Had they been here on the day of the massacre?

No, they knew nothing. Were they Christian or Muslim? Christian. They bent their heads and one woman placed her hand over her mouth.

Finally, we came across Abdullah. He took us to a little square and pointed out some of the wells into which the Christian killers had thrown scores of dead bodies, their heads downwards.

Some of the bodies were so decomposed that they could not be removed. The stench of death seeped out of the wells.

Abdullah pointed to a sewage pit, now covered with concrete blocks. He told us that the attackers had thrown 30 children in, between six months and three years old. This pit was now their unmarked grave.

All around were burnt patches on the ground in the shape of human bodies, where the attackers had hacked down their victims, poured fuel on them, then set them alight.

Abdullah had been away in town on the day of the attack, and returned later to discover that he had lost 13 family members, including his wife.

He broke down as he told us how, when he helped to pull her body out of a well, he saw that her face had been mutilated. He could only recognise her by her clothes.

Later, talking to survivors, all of who had fled to neighbouring towns and villages, we pieced together much of what had happened. At 8.30am rumours circulated of an impending assault.

A meeting of local imams, pastors and community leaders was called at once - but the police and district chief dismissed their fears. At around 10.30am three vans parked outside the village and gangs of young men, and some women, emerged.

Their faces ware painted red and they were chanting 'kill, kill, kill'. Far from intervening, the local policemen, so we were told, joined in.

Armed with guns and machetes, the mob went systematically from house to house. At 6.30pm, about the time of sunset, a whistle was blown and the killers obediently got back into their vans, leaving more than 170 dead and others horribly mutilated. There have been no arrests, and no charges have been pressed.

Well over 1,000 people have been killed just this year, and there is no prospect at all of the carnage abating.

The full article can be read HERE

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