8 dead in latest violence in central Nigeria

January 8, 2011 15:40

JOS, Nigeria  — An official said at least eight people are dead in new violence in a central Nigerian city plagued by fighting cutting across religious lines.

Lawyer Ahmed Garba, a member of an Islamic religious council, told journalists Saturday that seven Muslims died after Christian youths blocked the road and attacked them Friday night near Jos.Garba says Muslims retaliated and attacked people they believed to be Christians. At least one person has died in the retaliatory attacks. On Saturday, shops remained closed in Jos and people hid inside their homes.

Jos has been the epicenter of religious violence in Nigeria's "middle belt," where dozens of ethnic groups vie for control of fertile lands. Politics, jobs and land often motivate violence that falls along religious lines.

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