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Scores Dead In Lagos As Yoruba, Hausa Communities Clash

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Scores of people have been killed and properties worth billions of naira so far destroyed in an on-going clash between the Yoruba and Hausa communities in the popular Mile 12 area of Lagos State.

Houses, cars, personal belongings and wares being sold at the popular market located in the area were destroyed by the irate youths.

The clash which began since Wednesday night, got to a head Thursday afternoon with irate youths invading people's homes, burning down houses.

Witnesses at the scene of the clash counted corpses of people killed and burnt in different parts of the area.

"Corpses are lying along the road. So many people have been killed. The house just beside where I live has been razed down and a carpenter in the house killed," a witness, Victor, told our correspondent.

It was also learnt that the police did not take immediate action even when calls were made by residents to the police.

A journalist who lives in the area reported contacting the state Commissioner of Police but got a response that the commissioner was in a meeting and could not leave the meeting while Mile 12 burnt.

The situation only calmed Thursday evening after the state governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, ordered a shutdown of the entire Mile 12 and Agiliti areas of the state affected by the mayhem.

"The Hausa youths (some even came from other areas of Lagos just to fight in sympathy with their people) stormed different streets in Agiliti area destroying properties, killing and maiming people.

"Some of them were also attacked by the Yoruba youths who vowed not to keep quiet in the face of such attacks.

"The Yorubas also stormed the Mile 12 Market where there are a lot of Hausas and they destroyed properties and razed down buildings belonging to Hausa people in the area.

"The worst was that while the chaos went on, police officers stood aloof. It was only when the governor's order came that they took action and arrested some people," a witness at the area said.

Two versions exist on the origin of the crisis. One of the versions said a Hausa motorcycle rider rode on the wrong lane and knocked down someone.

Angered by this, residents of the area tried to force the motorcycle rider to take the injured victim to the hospital using his motorcycle. He was said to have refused and instead, called his friends who are also Hausas.

"Another version is that the Hausa motorcycle rider rode on one way and was accosted by the leader of the motorcycle riders in the area who is a Yoruba man.

"While the leader of the motorcycle riders confronted him and was trying to cease his motorcycle key, the Hausa guy just brought out a knife and stabbed the Yoruba guy. Though the Yoruba guy didn't die, it triggered the fracas," Lola Oladele, a resident of the area said.
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