Shoot-to-kill orders issued in Nigeria after riot

January 18, 2011 11:40

JOS, Nigeria  — A Nigerian army spokesman said soldiers patrolling Nigeria's restive central region have been given shoot-to-kill orders after an angry mob killed an election official and set his body on fire.

Capt. Charles Ekeocha told The Associated Press on Tuesday the orders allowed soldiers to kill anyone trying to hurt another person or destroy a home, church or mosque around the central city of Jos, a flashpoint of religious tension between Christians and Muslims.Ekeocha said: "The best option is to make sure you stop the person, even if it means taking the person's life."

Witnesses say three people died in the riot Monday.

A two-week effort to register 70 million eligible voters ahead of Nigeria's April elections is now under way. Religious violence has killed more than 500 people around Jos in the last year.

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