Rioters burn central Nigerian police station, "five killed" by police

Rioters went on a rampage in central Nigeria and burnt down a police station to protest the detention of their friends, police said on 2 April 2012.

AFP reports that rioters went on a rampage in central Nigeria and burnt down a police station to protest the detention of their friends over the weekend of 1 April 2012.

"The arsonists overwhelmed the police and burnt the police station after freeing their friends who were arrested at an annual festival for fighting", Plateau state police spokesman Samuel Dabai told AFP.

Dabai said police fired into the air to disperse the protesters, numbering some 500. "One of the rioters was hit and killed by a bullet when police fired shots to scare them away", he said.

Vanguard News reports that a fracas broke out between two rival youth groups as they were returning from a hunting expedition to commemorate a hunting festival which takes place among the people of Miango Community. This forced elders of the community to invite the police into the area.

The police were said to have arrested two of the youths for questioning. The police station was then invaded by a mob which allegedly set those arrested free and set the station and the adjoining Magistrate’s Court ablaze.

Five youths from the community were allegedly shot dead by members of the Special Task Force sent in as reinforcements to respond to the arson.

A group of women from the community took to the streets on Monday 2 April to protest the killings. The women dressed in black and accused the security men of using excessive force to handle the situation thereby worsening it.

 

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