Nigeria Imposes Curfew On City After 32 Die In Christmas Eve Explosions

The Nigerian government imposed a 10-hour curfew on the city of Jos, where Christmas Eve blasts killed at least 32 people and wounded more than 50 in the mixed Christian-Muslim area.

The curfew will last from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., Brigadier- General Hassan Umar, commander of the military Joint Task Force based in Jos, said today in a broadcast on state-owned Plateau Radio. The curfew aims to maintain peace in the city, he said.

The government earlier sent soldiers to patrol the streets of the city and barred unauthorized people from carrying arms, Gregory Yenlong, spokesman for central Plateau state, said on Plateau Radio today. The soldiers will deal “decisively” with lawbreakers, he said.

Sectarian violence between Christians and Muslims in Jos, the capital of Plateau state, has left hundreds of people dead this year. At least 492 people were killed in an attack on a predominantly Christian village by Muslim Fulani herders near Jos on March 7, Civil Rights Congress, a local rights group, said. Nigeria will ensure that those responsible for the Dec. 24 blasts are prosecuted, President Goodluck Jonathan said Dec. 25. “The government will do everything possible to unearth those behind this unfortunate incident,” Jonathan said in a statement e-mailed by Ima Niboro, his spokesman.

The attacks were acts of “terrorism,” Lieutenant-General Azubuike Ihejirika, Nigeria’s chief of army staff, said yesterday.

Attacks on two churches yesterday left six people dead in Maiduguri, capital of Borno state in northeast Nigeria, said Mohammed Abubakar, the commissioner of police.

The attacks were carried out by members of Boko Haram, an Islamic sect opposed to western education, Abubakar said by phone late yesterday. "