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Saturday, 23 December, 2000, 22:48 GMT
Held for talking to opposite sex

Police in the northern Nigerian city of Kano have rounded up hundreds of people for talking to members of the opposite sex on the streets.

The detainees -- mainly women -- have been taken to police stations over the past few days and questioned about whether they're involved in adultery or prostitution.

Both would be in contravention of Sharia, or Islamic law, which was introduced in Kano state last month.

Journalists who visited some of the detainees says many of them were terrified and say they were simply talking to members of the opposite sex.

Police are reportedly releasing the detainees upon payment of a bribe. In a further sign of determination to enforce the Islamic law, the authorities in Kano introduced women-only buses this week.

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