[The Christian Post] 24 Feb 2009--Sectarian violence in northern Nigeria this past weekend left at least 11 people dead, police and Red Cross officials said Monday.
Violence broke out Saturday when Muslim youths attacked Christians and burned churches in Bauchi state, according to Agence France Presse. In total, six churches and about a dozen houses were torched, Red Cross officials said.
The conflict also left nearly 40 people injured.
Local Muslims say the attack on Christians is retaliation for two mosques that went up in flames during the early morning hours on Saturday. Muslims blamed local Christians for the burning of the mosques.
But even before the burnt mosques, relations between Muslims and Christians in Bauchi were strained when a truck broke down on the road between the church and the mosque on Feb. 13, according to AFP. Muslims going to a Friday prayer meeting had overflowed and began using the narrow space between the truck and the church to get to the mosque.
Members of the Pentecostal church, however, set up barricades outside of the church to prevent Muslims from using the path between the truck and the church, sparking anger among local Muslims.
Police soon intervened by removing the barricades and calmed both sides. But then at around 3 a.m. on Saturday, two mosques were on fire and Muslims accused Christians of arson. Muslim youths then went on a rampage against Christians and churches.