Nigeria: Nigerian cops sweep up bodies

We republish below the report from Bauchi in northern Nigeria about the clashes with Islamists extremists.

The report by AFP has been published on news24.com.

Bauchi – Police in Nigeria are picking up bodies of slain militants from the streets of the capital Borno where a curfew has been imposed by the presidency.

Nigeria’s president placed security forces on maximum alert after two days of battles with radical Islamists in the north which witnesses and authorities said on Tuesday had left more than 150 dead.

While authorities have so far confirmed the death of 55 people in the states of Bauchi and Yobe, journalists in the capital of a third state said they had seen scores of bodies dumped at the local police headquarters.

“Over 100 dead bodies have been deposited at the premises of the police headquarters and more are still being brought in,” Ibrahim Bala, a local radio journalist, told AFP from Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state.

Bala said police were picking up the bodies of slain militants from the streets of the city where a curfew has been imposed.

“Fighting has stopped since last night but bodies are still being taken to the police headquarters in vans and trucks.”

Another local journalist, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said she had counted more than 100 bodies at the police headquarters.

Deadliest sectarian violence

Witnesses meanwhile said around 200 of the Islamist militants kept an overnight vigil outside a mosque in the city as well as by the house of their spiritual leader Mohammed Yusuf.

The clashes which erupted on Sunday have been waged in four northern states in the north of Africa’s most populous nation.

Churches and government buildings have been torched by groups of militants who have been dubbed Nigeria’s Taliban.

The unrest is the deadliest sectarian violence in Nigeria since November last year when human rights groups say up to 700 were killed in and around the city of Jos.

President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, who is himself a Muslim from the north, ordered his security forces to go on a maximum state of alert in a presidential decree issued late on Monday.

– AFP

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