Snooker row sparks deadly Christian-Muslim clashes in Nigeria
Clashes between Christian and Muslim youths in central Nigeria triggered by a game of snooker have killed four people and led to the burning of houses, churches and mosques, police said on Friday.
Residents said the dispute in Tafawa Balewa, in Bauchi state, started when a man from the Muslim Hausa ethnic group refused to pay for a snooker game on Wednesday evening.
The snooker club owners, from the mostly Christian Sayawa ethnic group, threw him out but he returned with a gang of friends and tried to set the building ablaze, witnesses said.
Several houses and places of worship were torched as rioting broke out the following morning, leading the police to call in reinforcements from the northern states of Gombe and Kano and the local government to impose a dusk-to-dawn curfew.
Bauchi lies next to Plateau state, where religious and ethnic clashes have killed more than 200 people over the past month, according to U.S.-based Human Rights Watch.
Read the full story by Abdulwahab Muhammed here.
(Photo: Snooker shot, 7 March 2008/Michael Maggs)