KADUNA, Nigeria (Reuters) – Nigeria has deployed a special police force to restore calm in the northern state of Kaduna…
KADUNA, Nigeria (Reuters) – Nigeria has deployed a special police force to restore calm in the northern state of Kaduna after municipal violence that killed 55 people in recent days, said President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday.
The government of Kaduna imposed a 24-hour curfew on Sunday after violence broke out on the streets of the state capital, also known as Kaduna.
The violence in the state capital follows clashes between two communities in the Kasuwan Magani area of southern Kaduna, which left 55 dead.
The locals said that clashes broke out between Muslims and Christians in the area, about 50 km from Kaduna City, on Thursday.
Hundreds of people have been killed this year in the outbreak of joint violence across Nigeria. Security has become an important campaign issue before the elections in February 201
9, where Buhari will seek a second term.
“The violence in Kaduna … is condemnatory. The police have been granted permission to do everything to restore calm.” A special intervention force has been deployed to the flash point, “Buhari said on Twitter.
The Kaduna State Police Commissioner, Ahmad Abdur- Rahman said earlier that the clashes in the Kasuwan Magani area of southern Kaduna had led to 22 arrests.
“The federal government and its law enforcement agencies will work with government and community leaders to ensure full peace and security reconstruction”, Buhari said in another message on Twitter.
The police said that the special force will carry out stunts and search patrols, erase suspected criminal cavalry and arrest in areas that have become a flash point or considered to be at risk of violence.
Local people , which described concerns in both the Christian and Muslim areas of the state capital, the troops also said on city streets.
“This is a message about a 24-hour curfew imposed Kaduna town and surroundings, with immediate effect. Residents are advised to comply with this directive, “says Governor of Kaduna, Nasir El-Rufai, on Twitter.
Collisions along ethnic lines have plagued southern Kaduna in recent years. Last year, troops and further police were sent to the state in response to an outbreak of violence.
Nigeria is Africa’s most populous nation with about 190 million inhabitants, divided roughly equally between Christians and Muslims, and includes about 250 different ethnic groups that live mainly peacefully side by side.
Further reporting and writing by Alexis Akwagyiram; Further reporting by Felix Onuah in Abuja and Nneka Chile in Lagos; Editing Raissa Kasolowsky and Adrian Croft
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