3-day fast over slaying of 109

JOS, Nigeria - Thousands of women dressed in black marched through the streets of Nigeria's central city of Jos yesterday to mourn last weekend's slaughter of more than 100 Christians.

JOS, Nigeria - Thousands of women dressed in black marched through the streets of Nigeria's central city of Jos yesterday to mourn last weekend's slaughter of more than 100 Christians.

The women also demanded the military leave the area, accusing it of failing to prevent Sunday's slaughter, blamed on a Muslim clan, in three villages near the city.

"We are mourning because of the children that were killed on Sunday, we're coming as a mass to cry out," said Rebecca Adiwu.

Some carried Bibles, others held wooden crosses. Some marchers carried branches of mango trees that they said were a symbol of solidarity.

Traffic was brought to a standstill as the protesters - estimated at 10000 - headed to the state government's headquarters.

"We do not want soldiers, no more soldiers!" they chanted, waving Bibles and crosses.

The military has come in for heavy criticism for failing to prevent the attacks despite warnings.

A group of mainly Muslim Fulani herdsmen raided the three villages before dawn and hacked to death scores of people from the Berom, a predominantly Christian ethnic group.

Women and children bore the brunt of the attacks, in which the death tolls given by different institutions varied, some reaching as high as 500.

The state police commissioner, Ikechukwu Aduba, said on Wednesday that the final toll was 109.

Plateau state governor Jonah Jang on Wednesday called for three days of fasting and prayer. - Sapa-AFP

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