Nigeria

Nigeria: VIOLENCE IN BAUCHI - CALM RETURNS BUT SITUATION REMAINS UNCERTAIN

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The situation in Bauchi appears to have calmed down a bit after clashes between the Kala Kato religious sect and the security forces have left thirty dead. Local missionaries told MISNA that the clashes took place in the Zango suburb of Bauchi, which has become the Kata Kalo stronghold. Local media say that the Kata Kalo are related to the larger Maitatsine group, which was involved in very violent episodes during the 1980's. Moreover, the same sources hinted that there have been rumors of fighting between the army and other religious sects. The death toll is uncertain, though it is anywhere from 30 to 38 people, most of whom were members of the sect as well as children and other civilians. The local police chief told the press that 20 people, including 11 minors, were arrested and that 14 others were wounded. A joint force of soldiers and police officers, said witnesses, entered the Zango suburb intending to arrest the Kata Kalo leader, known as Mallam Badamasi; it is likely he was killed. This was what prompted the clashes that rapidly spread throughout the neighborhood. In the same city and nearby states last July there was a veritable military campaign against members of the Boko Haram sect, leaving a few hundreds dead. [AB]