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‘55 people killed in communal clashes in Nigeria’

This file photo shows a member of security forces standing guard outside a court in the northern city of Kaduna, Nigeria, on October 4, 2018. (By Reuters)

Nigeria says dozens of people were killed earlier this week in sectarian violence sparked by a dispute in a market in the country’s north.

A spokesman for Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said on Saturday that a total of 55 people had lost their lives in clashes between young Christians and Muslims in the northwestern Nigerian state of Kaduna.

Local sources told AFP that the fighting erupted between Adara Christian and Hausa Muslim youths in the town of Kasuwan Magani’s market following a dispute among wheelbarrow porters.

The state police commissioner said 22 people had been arrested after the unrest.

“President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned the latest communal violence in Kasuwan Magani in Kaduna State, which claimed 55 lives,” the presidential office said in a statement.

The Nigerian president expressed concern that Nigerians were too frequently resorting to violence over misunderstandings that could be resolved peacefully.

“No culture and religion supports the disregard for the sanctity of life,” he said, adding that “peaceful coexistence is necessary for the progress of any society and its well-being.”

President of Nigeria Muhammadu Buhari speaks during the General Debate of the 73rd session of the General Assembly at the United Nations in New York, the US, on September 25, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

Buhari also said that without harmony between communities, an environment conducive to “our everyday businesses would be impossible to achieve.”

“Violence cannot be an alternative to peace. On the contrary, reliance on violence leads to ultimate self-destruction. Violence is an ill wind that blows nobody any good. Embracing peace is a necessity,” he said.

The Nigerian president called on community leaders to take part in regular dialog to prevent misunderstandings and foster a spirit of tolerance and patience.

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