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Religious Violence 4 Killed, church burnt in Niger state

Four persons have been killed in Pandogari, Rafi local government area of Niger state following the outbreak of religious violence in the area.

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Many families have been affected by the wave of religious violence sweeping through Wukari play

Many families have been affected by the wave of religious violence sweeping through Wukari

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Four persons have been killed in Pandogari, Rafi local government area of Niger state following the outbreak of religious violence in the area over blasphemous comments about Prophet Mohammed on social media.

According to the statement issued by Major NC Agwu, the Assistant Director, Army Public Relations, a church, house and shop were burnt while 25 others were looted during the incident on Sunday, May 29, 2016.

The statement reads: "At about 6pm on Sunday, 29 May 2016, one Mr. Methodus Chimaije Emmanuel, a 24 year old trader based in Pandogari, Rafi LGA of Niger State was attacked and killed by a mob in the town on allegation of posting a blasphemous statement about Prophet Muhammad on the social media.

"Regrettably, one church, one house and a shop were burnt while 25 other shops were looted following the violence. Three other persons including personnel of the NSCDC also lost their lives.

“Troops of 31 Artillery Brigade of 1 Division, Nigerian Army on operation MESA quickly intervened and restored law and order while a dusk to dawn curfew was imposed in the town.

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“Some arrests have been made in connection with the violence and the suspects handed over to the police. The military and other security agencies are currently embarking on confidence building patrols in all nooks and crannies of the town.

“Early Monday morning however, the rioters embarked on further violence, looting shops and blocking the Lagos – Kaduna Road, a major artery connecting the northern and southern parts of the country.

“Again, troops in conjunction with the personnel of Nigeria Police and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) took control of the situation to forestall escalation of violence and any threat to the peace in the town."

He stated that the military is working with the local government council authorities and community leaders, including the Kagara Emirate Council to pacify all aggrieved parties and build on the peace so far established.

He urged residents to go about their daily activities without fear of intimidation abide by the conditions of the curfew.

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