Streets empty in Nigeria's Kaduna with curfew in place
6/20/2012 1:20:01 PM -
KADUNA, Nigeria (AFP) - Residents of Nigeria's Kaduna stayed indoors on Wednesday as a heavy deployment of soldiers and police enforced a ban on movements after three days of religious violence killed at least 61 people.
The round-the-clock state-wide curfew was first imposed after three church bombings in the state on Sunday sparked reprisal violence by Christian mobs who attacked Muslims and burned some of their bodies.
The lockdown was briefly lifted on Monday afternoon, but a flare up of violence, concentrated in Kaduna city's mainly Muslim northern district, led authorities to renew the curfew.
"The curfew is in force and people are indoors. It's quiet everywhere," said Nasiru Abdullahi, a resident of the Tadun Wada area where some of Monday's rioting took place.
Kaduna city resident Ahmado Yaro, a prominent opposition politician in the state, said the security deployment has increased.
"Soldiers and policemen are guarding roundabouts and some sensitive places. There are more policemen on patrol today" said Yaro, state leader of the Congress for Progressive Change party.
National police spokesman Frank Mba said he was "confident the curfew would be relaxed soon," insisting that the police "have enough men on the ground to manage any eventuality."
Burned vehicles and destroyed shops were still visible around Kaduna city on Tuesday, according to an AFP reporter who toured the city with the military.
The violence over the last three days has included suicide bombings at a church in Kaduna city and two churches in the nearby city of Zaria that killed at least 16 people.
The attacks were claimed by the Islamist group Boko Haram, which has killed hundreds of people across northern Nigeria in recent months.
After the church bombings, Christian mobs roamed the streets of the state capital, burning mosques and killing at least 36 people.
The latest violence, which erupted late Monday and continued Tuesday, left at least nine people dead.