Death toll in Kaduna communal crisis hits 12

The death toll in the crisis, which erupted at Kasuwan Magani in the Kajuru Local Government Area of Kaduna on Monday, has risen to 12.

Five persons were reportedly killed on Monday while scores sustained injuries.

The state police command later in the night confirmed that seven people were killed and 15 injured in the violence.

Kasuwan Magani is 30 kilometres away from the Kaduna metropolis and a gateway to the southern part of the state, Plateau, Nasarawa and Benue states.

Crisis arose when a Christian girl was allegedly about to be converted to Islam, following her engagement to a Muslim, a development which angered some Christian youths.

On Tuesday, security chiefs comprising  the state Police Commissioner, Austin Iwar; the General Officer Commanding, One Mechanised Division, Nigerian Army, Kaduna, Maj.Gen. Mohammed Mohammed; the Director, Kaduna State Command of the Department of State Services, Alhaji T. Wakili; and the Commandant, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Alhaji Modu Goni, carried out an assessment of damage done during the clash.

The security chiefs later met residents and other stakeholders where they sued for peace.

The commissioner of police told journalists after the meeting at Kasuwan Magani that 18 suspects had been arrested in connection with the crisis.

He said, “We have about 11 dead. Yesterday some were buried around 12 midnight; we buried 11 yesterday. It is so unfortunate. As we can see, the level of destruction is very high, some people were killed and properties were destroyed. This is not what we wish for our state, Kaduna.

“Let me say that we will not leave any stone unturned in investigating the remote and immediate causes of this problem. We will talk to the stakeholders here and try to find out what is the problem and through civil-problem-solving approach and conflict resolution, we will deal with that.

“We will also look at the criminal aspect of it. So far, we have arrested 18 people that we suspect were involved in the crisis. We are working round the clock to ensure that we get to the root of the matter. We have recovered a number of dangerous items, including petrol bombs.”