A mispronunciation taken to be blasphemous in Nigeria’s north sparked a riot by Muslim youths Thursday, leaving four people dead as well as a church and shops burnt, police and residents said.
“What happened in (the town of) Bichi was misinformation,” Kano state police chief Ibrahim Idris told reporters. “Rumours went round that someone blasphemed the Prophet and there was a breakdown of law and order.”
Residents reported four people dead along with the church and Christian-owned shops burnt. Soldiers and policemen deployed in the town.
The riot came on the same day that former British prime minister Tony Blair and the incoming spiritual head of the world’s Anglicans Justin Welby launched an initiative in the Nigerian capital Abuja aimed at Muslim-Christian reconciliation.