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Concern over underlying religious tensions

Life is returning to normal in the central Nigerian city of Jos after bloody clashes earlier this month between Muslims and Christians, but there are fears that the underlying tensions may have wider national and international ramifications.

The violence, which started on 7 September, caused businesses and offices to remain closed for the better part of two weeks. Although the estimated 500 people killed have been buried, grim reminders of the carnage that occurred remain. Charred buildings dot the city. Burnt-out cars litter the streets. And over 15,000 displaced people sheltering in military barracks, police compounds and other public places are awaiting relocation.

"That such a thing happened at all in Jos means that the ethnic and religious crisis rocking Nigeria in the past two years has crossed a critical threshold," Cheche Okpaga, a graduate of the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies in Kuru, near Jos, told IRIN. "Right now it could happen anywhere in Nigeria and could easily envelop the whole nation."

[See separate story titled 'NIGERIA: IRIN Focus on underlying religious tensions']

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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