Religious violence in Taraba: Death toll hits 15, police say could rise to over 50

Clashes between Christian and Muslim youths in Taraba state killed more than 15 people, the police said on Monday, and the final death toll could be much higher.

Fighting began between two groups over the use of a football pitch on Saturday in the Wakari district and escalated into deadly violence in nearby villages.

“Over 15 people were killed in a clash between two football teams. The clash started from a football pitch between two players and escalated into the community on community violence,” Taraba State Police Spokesman Amos Olaye, told Reuters.

A state emergency services official, who asked not to be named, said he thought at least 50 people had been killed.

“Yes, the death toll is on the high side and is still rising as security men are just discovering more bodies from the houses,” said Kefas John, secretary to the Taraba Governor, declining to give a death toll.

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