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Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Minna riot: Nigeria curfew in Niger state

Wasif Chudhary
The Nigerian authorities have imposed a 24-hour curfew in Niger state after a crowd of youths went on the rampage, setting fire to buildings and cars.

The trouble in the state capital, Minna, came on the third day of nationwide strikes against a government decision to end fuel subsidies.

One policeman was killed in Minna when an electoral commission building was attacked, say officials.

A curfew has also been imposed in Kaduna state following unrest there.

During the violent protests in Minna, hundreds of rioters set fire to government and political party offices and also targeted the homes of local politicians.

An office building belonging to former Nigerian President Ibrahim Babangida was among those attacked.

Shops were set on fire and a police spokesman told the BBC police officers were attacked by a group of youths.

"The Niger state government has imposed a 24-hour curfew on all the 25 local government areas of the state as a result of the breakdown of order in Minna," said a statement from the Niger state authorities.

A curfew was imposed in neighbouring Kaduna state on Tuesday after angry protests in which thousands of protesters reportedly tried to force their way into a government office complex.

There have been demonstrations across Nigeria since the government announced the immediate ending of fuel subsidies on 1 January.

Petrol prices and transport fares have since doubled.

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