little green footballs

Cartoon Jihad Erupts in Nigeria

Sat, Feb 18, 2006 at 2:59:07 pm

More violence and killing in Nigeria, where mobs of enraged Muslims attacked Christians and burned churches: Cartoon Protests Leave 15 Dead in Nigeria. (Hat tip: Right Brain.)

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (AP) — Nigerian Muslims protesting caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad attacked Christians and burned churches on Saturday, killing at least 15 people in the deadliest confrontation yet in the whirlwind of Muslim anger over the drawings.

It was the first major protest to erupt over the issue in Africa’s most populous nation. An Associated Press reporter saw mobs of Muslim protesters swarm through the city center with machetes, sticks and iron rods. One group threw a tire around a man, poured gas on him and setting him ablaze. ...

Thousands of rioters burned 15 churches in Maiduguri in a three-hour rampage before troops and police reinforcements restored order, Nigerian police spokesman Haz Iwendi said. Security forces arrested dozens of people, Iwendi said.

Chima Ezeoke, a Christian Maiduguri resident, said protesters attacked and looted shops owned by minority Christians, most of them with origins in the country’s south.

“Most of the dead were Christians beaten to death on the streets by the rioters,” Ezeoke said. Witnesses said three children and a priest were among those killed.