October 20, 2018 7:37 PM
Fifty-five people were killed in northern Nigeria this week after clashes between young Christians and Muslims, officials confirmed Saturday.
The fight on Thursday began after a dispute between Muslim and Christian youths at a market in north-central Kaduna state, residents told media.
In a statement Saturday, a spokesman for President Muhammadu Buhari said the president "has condemned the latest communal violence in Kasuwan Magani in Kaduna state, which claimed 55 lives."
Kaduna state police Commissioner Ahmad Abdur-Rahman said Friday that 22 people had been arrested in connection with the violence.
Nigeria is mostly split along religious lines with Muslims in the north and Christians in the south.
In his statement, Buhari said Nigerians too frequently resort to violence over misunderstandings.
"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."
"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.
Kaduna state officials told the AFP news agency a round-the-clock curfew had been imposed in Kasuwan Magani, the site of the violence.