Red alert ordered as sectarian violence kills 500 in Nigeria

A new outbreak of religious violence between Christians and Muslims near the volatile Nigerian city of Jos left at least 500 people dead on Sunday, a state governor’s advisor said on Monday.

Reportedly, Hausa-Fulani herders from surrounding hills attacked the Dogo-Na-HawaRatsat and Jeji villages of Plateau State’s Foron district, shooting in the air to draw people out of their homes before attacking them with machetes and knives. Survivors of the bloody violence stated that this attack could be considered as reprisal for an attack on the Fulanis in Kuru in which several lives were lost and corpses dumped in the wells.

Acting President Goodluck Jonathan put security forces in the Plateau State on “red alert” to prevent any further deterioration of the security situation in the region and called on all Nigerians “to remain peaceful and law abiding”, because “violence only begets further violence”.

Similar sectarian violence between Muslims and Christians killed more than 300 people in the same region in January last year.