At least 20 people were killed in Nigeria in anti-American riots Saturday and thousands of
demonstrators joined peace marches in London and Berlinâ€¦”it is not a conflict between Islam and the West….all those in favor of human rights oppose the U.S. and U.K. bombings.”
KANO, Nigeria – At least 20 people were killed in
Nigeria in anti-American riots Saturday 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.
“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 organizers, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND).
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 Talibanâ€¦estimate[s] that more than 300 people, mainly civilians, have been killed in the raids.
Protest organizers 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 Germancity of Stuttgart. Smaller protests were held in other parts of the non-Islamic world, including Australia.
In Nigeria, 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 President 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.
“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 colorful 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 favor of human rights oppose the U.S. and U.K. bombings,” said
Mike Marqusee, a leading member of the Stop the War Coalition.
[ also see related items:
– http://www.theexperiment.org/articles.php?news_id=1404 ]
Author: Emeka Madu
News Service: Reuters – Saturday October 13