UN calls on Nigeria to halt deadly ethnic clashes

September 9, 2011 15:49

GENEVA - The UN human rights office called on Nigeria on Friday to halt spiraling violence between Christian and Muslim youths in which it said 70 people had been killed since early August, including a family hacked to death.

A spokesman for UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said security forces had sometimes made the ethnic clashes worse by their interventions, appearing to take sides or using excessive force.

"Reports suggest up to 70 people have been killed since the beginning of August in ethnic and religious violence in the area," her spokesman Rupert Colville told a news briefing.

At least 14 people have been killed in clashes in central Nigeria's volatile Plateau state since Sunday, authorities in the city of Jos said on Monday. Victims included a family of eight hacked to death.

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