KANO (AFP) – Government imposed an indefinite 24-hour curfew and deployed troops in the town of Kafanchan Wednesday following clashes between Muslim and Christian youths, an official said.
Kafanchan, a major town in northern Kaduna state, and neighbouring Zonkwa, were the theatre of deadly post-election riots in April in which several hundreds of people died.
Kaduna state government spokesman Reuben Buhari said “the government imposed an indefinite 24-hour curfew Wednesday on Kafanchan following reports of threat to public peace in the town”.
“The situation has been brought under control and more soldiers and policemen have been deployed to the town. Soldiers have been ordered to arrest anyone seen outside on the streets,” Buhari told AFP on telephone.
Residents in the town told an AFP reporter that trouble started when security agents arrested some Christian youths, accused of killing their Muslim friend who visited them the previous day in their mainly Christian neighbourhood.
“Tension gripped the town following the discovery of the corpse of the Muslim motorcyclist with gunshot and machete wounds. Muslims mobilised to fight the Christians, accused of killing him,” Mudi Shafiu, a Muslim youth leader, said.
“The arrest of the Christians infuriated fellow Christians who confronted the Muslims and this situation led to clashes and the setting up of a bonfire,” he added.
Andrew John, a Christian youth leader in the town, gave a similar account of the incident.
The state police spokesman could not be reached on telephone to comment.