Fresh violence broke out in Jos as Muslim and Christian youth in the area were said to have clashed. Although security chiefs in the state had last weekend met with religious and community leaders to fashion out strategies for a peaceful Sallah celebration in the state, their efforts seem to have been in vain. The bloody clash which occurred on Monday saw the death of about 20 people while over 50 others were injured. About 50 vehicles, 100 motorcycles and 2 or more shops were burnt with some of the occupants trapped as their vehicles were torched by rampaging youths.
It is not yet possible to determine what faction started the commotion as there are different stories as to who started the trouble. While some eyewitnesses say that the commotion started after members of the ‘Izala’ Islamic Group who celebrated the end of the Ramadan yesterday were attacked by youths along Rukuba Road, a Christian dominated area while going for prayers at an abandoned mosque located in the area.
Another version said that the Muslim youths acted contrary to the directive of the police by carrying dangerous weapons to the praying grounds during the Sallah. The youth were said to have brandished daggers, knives and other dangerous weapons which they waved dangerously at residents of the area as they drove past. Their actions upset the residents who prepared themselves for a face-off with the Muslims.
Both factions however dispersed after the arrival of the Special Task Force who allegedly fired bullets sporadically in a bid to squelch the commotion, killing members of both factions in the process.