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Wednesday 26 October 2016

Backlash fear after Christian woman killed for 'insulting Prophet'

Published 05/06/2016 | 02:21

Nigerian Christians have warned of a 'looming religious crisis' unless attacks stop
Nigerian Christians have warned of a 'looming religious crisis' unless attacks stop

Christians in Nigeria's mainly-Muslim north have demanded more protection after a woman was stabbed to death for allegedly insulting the Prophet Mohammed.

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Two suspects have been arrested over Thursday's killing of middle-aged trader Bridget Abihime in Kano, Nigeria's national police chief Solomon Arase said.

Ms Abihime allegedly said the Prophet Mohammed was not important.

The northern chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria said police were not doing enough to protect Christians and warned of a "looming religious crisis". In the past, such attacks have led to retaliation and sectarian violence.

"This barbarism must stop now," said association spokesman the Rev John Hayab. He accused police of trying to cover up the killing and demanded all those involved in Ms Abihime's death be arrested and prosecuted.

Mr Arase promised swift justice and called on community leaders to help in "dousing the tensions". He said all security agencies were being deployed to prevent the incident from "degenerating into a major security threat".

Nigeria's 170 million people are divided almost equally between Christians mainly in the south and Muslims predominantly in the north.

They interact peacefully for the most part, but tensions are high in the north and especially the north east, where Boko Haram's near seven-year-old Islamic uprising has killed about 20,000 people and suicide bombings keep people in fear.

Kano has suffered several such attacks.

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