Rioters slaughter 200 Christians in Nigeria

JOS: Rioters armed with machetes slaughtered more than 200 people including a four-day-old infant, residents said, less than two months after sectarian violence in the volatile region left more than 300 dead.

The violence in the mostly Christian villages on Sunday appeared to be reprisal attacks following the January unrest in Jos — when most of the victims were Muslims, said Red Cross spokesman Robin Waubo. State officials did not comment on the cause of the latest attacks.

Plateau State spokesman Gregory Yenlong said officials would conduct mass burials for the victims on Monday.

The bodies of the dead lined dusty streets in three villages south of the regional capital of Jos, local journalists and a civil rights group said on Sunday. They said at least 200 bodies had been counted by Sunday afternoon.

The bodies of children tangled with each other in a local morgue, including a diaper-clad toddler. Another young victim appeared to have been scalped, while others had severed hands and feet. One woman victim in the morgue appeared to have been stripped below the waist, but later covered by a strip of black cloth.

Jos has been under a dusk-till-dawn curfew enforced by the military since January’s religious-based violence. It was not clear how the attackers managed to elude the military curfew early on Sunday.

Acting President Goodluck Jonathan said security

agencies would be stationed along Plateau state’s

borders to keep outsiders from coming in with more weapons and fighters.

“(We will) undertake strategic initiatives to confront and defeat these roving bands of killers,” he said in a statement.

“While it is too early to

state categorically what is responsible for this renewed wave of violence, we want to inform Nigerians that the security services are on top of the situation.”

More than 600 people fled to a makeshift camp that still held victims from January’s violence, said Red Cross official Adamu Abubakar.