Skip to comments.Anti-American riots rock Nigeria
Posted on 10/14/2001 3:46:59 AM PDT by jerod
KANO, Nigeria (Reuters) - At least 20 people have been killed in Nigeria in anti-American riots and thousands of demonstrators joined peace marches in London and Berlin.
Nigerian authorities issued a shoot-on-sight order and clamped a night curfew on Kano, the biggest city in the mainly Muslim north, after some of the most violent anti-American protests in Africa since U.S. air strikes on Afghanistan began.
Army tanks criss-crossed the streets to quell riots which followed a pattern of Muslim-Christian clashes that have killed thousands in oil-producing Nigeria over the past two years.
"There is rampant shooting in the streets," said resident Jibrin Idris, who said he was trapped in a building with scores of people in the city's commercial district.
"Churches, mosques and shops are on fire. There is smoke everywhere," he said by telephone.
In London, Muslims and Christians marched side by side in a protest against the bombing of Afghanistan that attracted more than 20,000 people, according to police estimates.
"We're here because there are thousands of people across Britain who know that the bombing of Afghanistan is not going to put an end to terrorism," said Carol Naughton, chairman of the protest organisers, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND).
"We need to stop the bombing and go right back to diplomatic ways to end this crisis," she told Reuters. (This women is a dolt.)
Germany also saw its biggest protest so far against the air strikes, launched a week ago in retaliation for the attacks on the United States last month that killed around 5,500 people.
Afghanistan's Taliban rulers, who are sheltering the chief suspect in the attacks, Saudi-born militant Osama bin Laden, estimate that more than 300 people, mainly civilians, have been killed in the raids. There has been no independent confirmation.
Protest organisers said some 30,000 people turned out in Berlin, but police put the figure at about 14,000. Protesters came from some 140 different groups, ranging from far-left Marxist parties to the far-right neo-Nazi NPD party.
GERMANS "LEERY OF WAR"
"The horror of World War Two makes all of us in Germany leery of war," said physician Hannes Wand, 54, at the rally held under blue skies and unusually warm autumn weather.
"I'm against this war because it's not justified and innocent people are being killed and forced to flee their homes."
Police said an estimated 5,000 people protested in the Swiss capital Berne, and about 4,000 in the southwest German city of Stuttgart. Smaller protests were held in other parts of the non-Islamic world, including Australia.
In Nigeria, the army moved tanks into Kano's Sabon Gari market area early on Saturday after Christian churches and mosques were set on fire in rioting on Friday.
Community leaders said rioters killed at least six female school students on their way to take university entrance exams.
Police said they found another two bodies in the street, one hacked by a machete, and a witness said he was seeking refuge in a police station when eight more bodies were brought in.
Up to four people were shot later by soldiers enforcing the shoot on sight measure, witnesses said. Mike Idika, a leader of the predominantly Christian Igbo community, which accounts for most of city's merchants, said more than 200 people had been injured and sent to hospital.
Local residents said the protests were hijacked by hoodlums from the city's army of unemployed youth, who chanted "May God destroy America!" and "Americans are terrorists".
Brandishing posters of bin Laden, they burned American flags and effigies of U.S. President George W. Bush and Nigerian Foreign Minister Sule Lamido, who has backed the U.S. attacks.
In India, at least 12 people were injured in a clash between Hindus and Muslims after Hindus tried to burn portraits of bin Laden in the eastern state of Bihar, authorities said.
U.S.-led air strikes on Afghanistan began last Sunday after the Taliban refused to hand over bin Laden.
"The first casualty in this war has been the rule of law. President Bush must declare there will be justice for the Palestinians and sanctions against Iraq must be lifted," Dr. Ghayasuddin Siddiqui, leader of the Muslim Parliament of Great Britain which supported the London rally, told Reuters.
The demonstrators turned Trafalgar Square into a sea of colourful banners echoing with chanting against the bombing. No arrests were reported.
"It's the most socially diverse we've ever seen. This shows it is not a conflict between Islam and the West....all those in favour of human rights oppose the U.S. and U.K. bombings," said Mike Marqusee, a leading member of the Stop the War Coalition.
In Berlin, there were minor scuffles with police as protesters marched through the central government quarter and past the Brandenburg Gate, foreign ministry and city hall.
Banners read: "War is genocide", "War is not the solution" and "Stop Bush's war". Singers performed anti-war folk songs of the 1960s from the backs of flat-bed trucks.
German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder criticised the peace rally, saying the demonstrators were being misled.
"Turn your focus on those who started this conflict," Schroeder said in an interview with the newspaper Der Tagesspiegel, due to appear on Sunday.
Yes, stupidity knows no borders.
I don't remember this dolt speaking up when the Taliban were killing and forcing "innocent people" out of their homes in Afghanistan. Where was this big mouth then?
Perhaps when thousands are killed in their countries by a terrorist attacks, they can protest against their own gov't daring to defend them.
Translated: I'm not intelligent enough to distiguish between Fascist agression and self-defense, so I chose the moral lobotomy of pacifism.
Africa, that quiet, blissful continent that is home to reflective, rational and peaceful people.
Another successful peace rally...
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.