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Vol 50 No 3

Published 6th February 2009


Nigeria

Why Jos burned

A vicious mix of ethnic and religious politics set the Middle Belt capital alight and has now caused a row with the presidency

The first half of December saw the town of Jos burn, as gangs of youths took to the streets for targeted killing, criminal bloodletting and wanton destruction. By the time the authorities regained control, over 500 people were dead and more than 10,000 displaced. Churches and mosques had been razed, schools, homes and businesses set ablaze. Just beforehand, over 170 people had died in the Islamist bombings in Mumbai: India rightly made the international headlines; Nigeria didn't.

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