YELWA, Nigeria: At least 630 people were killed in an attack on a Nigerian Muslim community by a Christian militia, local people and a senior Red Cross official said on Thursday near the site of a mass grave.
"The figure is correct. All the bodies were gathered at the traditional leader’s house and then were buried behind it," Umar Abdu Mamairiga, the Nigerian Red Cross’s national disaster management officer, told AFP.
"They are talking about 630, but there might be more," he added, confirming a figure given to reporters by local councillor Yakubu Haruna, 35, by the side of a fresh 50 by 10 metre burial site in the central rural town of Yelwa.
Ten fresh plots, still stinking of recent deaths, lie behind the chief’s house that serves as a meeting place in Yelwa, a Muslim market town, in a walled compound overshadowed by a water tower. "We buried over 630 people," said Haruna, to general agreement from a crowd of onlookers. "Some people were buried in their back yards. They just attacked us because we are Muslims." A Red Cross emergency team arrived in Yelwa for the first time on Thursday, and were immediately asked to treat several dozen people for gunshot and machete wounds. The injured were mainly young men, but at least one baby had been had been shot through the foot, and another had had its jaw smashed.
The News International, Pakistan
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