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Feb 18, 2011

Jos Records Bloody Muslim Festival As 12 Die In Violence

It was indeed another bloody day for residents of Jos, Plateau State, at the eid-el maulud celebration Tuesday as 12 persons, including a riot policeman around whom the killings revolved, lost their lives in cruel and untoward circumstances in the Terminus area of the city.

Panic, tension and stampede, all enveloped the city centre, as cars collided headlong, smashing windshields and rending bumpers asunder in desperate moves by motorists to escape from being caught in the madness that began at the Abuja Market in the area.

It all began when the policeman, who was on duty but went to purchase meat from an Hausa butcher in the market, was allegedly slaughtered by the butcher.
The meat seller reportedly turned his knife and killed the unsuspecting policeman, who was simply identified as Mr. John, by tearing open his abdomen.

As if well planned, another butcher beside them, also an Hausa, went after his own customer, a young lady, standing before him, and also killed her with his knife. And before long, the entire market turned into a pandemonium as the people used knives freely on each other.

And before the arrival of soldiers, five people were already dead, while several others were seriously injured.
This provoked angry Christian youths to pounce on a commercial motorcycle operator, believed to be an Hausa, in the terminus area, who was also killed before he could escape.

While Muslim youths, who were reciting the Quaran at the Central Mosque that had earlier been restrained from their usual yearly procession, got wind of the crisis, they immediately made to launch further offensive on the Christians, who were equally battle ready.

But for the prompt arrival of the Commander of the Military Special Task Force, Brig. Gen. Hassan Umaru, who was also observing prayers at the mosque, more casualties would have been recorded. He quickly deployed troops in the area to contain the youths.

The crisis quickly escalated to Gada-Biu area of the city where four other persons were burnt beyond recognition. Three corpses were also found lying near Bingham University Teaching Hospital.
Confirming the incident, the state Police Commissioner, Alhaji Abdulrahman Akano, said four people had been arrested in connection with the pandemonium. He however denied that any other person was killed apart from the policeman, whom he said is of the Bomb Disposal unit.