Nigerian Sunnis, Shiites clash after cleric shot

July 19, 2007 13:42


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Clashes between Muslim sects left at least one dead after the shooting of a popular cleric in northern Nigeria, witnesses said Thursday. An Associated Press reporter saw the corpse of one man who had been beaten to death by a mob after being accused in the shooting of Sunni cleric Umar Danshiya at a mosque in the capital of the desert state of Sokoto on Wednesday. Nura Mohammed, who was taking the cleric home by motorbike taxi, said that three gunmen on motorbikes shot the cleric in the forehead after he finished leading a morning prayer. Mohammed said the cleric was in a coma but being treated in an intensive care unit at a university hospital, where the body of one of the alleged gunmen had also been taken. Danshiya is well known for his anti-Shi'ite sermons. A mob of his followers wielding sticks and machetes attacked several Shi'ites in retaliation for the attack on Danshiya. Nigerian soldiers and police set up roadblocks to try to prevent further revenge attacks. The streets of Sokoto appeared calm Thursday morning.

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