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Tuesday, 5 February, 2002, 13:27 GMT
Lagos tense after riots
The remains of a Hausa house
At least 100 people were killed in the rioting
Nigeria's commercial capital Lagos was tense on Tuesday as troops restored an uneasy calm after three days of ethnic clashes.

A soldier interrogates a woman in Idi Araba neighbourhood
Soldiers and police have deployed in force

Despite rumours of further violence, there was no more fighting between members of the city's majority Yoruba community and ethnic Hausas.

Heavily armed security forces, which deployed in force on Monday in the northern districts of Mushin and Idi Araba, rounded up suspects and searched for weapons.

President Olusegun Obasanjo urged those living in multi-ethnic communities everywhere, particularly in Lagos, to live in peace.

The Red Cross says that at least 100 people were killed and more than 430 injured in the rioting.

Further clashes feared

Reports said intermittent shots rang out and youths with machetes could still be seen walking the streets, only to disappear at the approach of army and police patrols.

Some residents were still fleeing the area, fearing the police and army would leave after nightfall and that violence would flare up again.

A Hausa bleeds after a machete attack
The fighting broke out between rival ethnic groups

"We pray that security forces will be around for at least one month so that normalcy will return," local carpenter Mohammed Sabitu told the Reuters news agency.

Others, however, were returning to collect whatever remained in their burned out, looted homes.

Radio Nigeria reported that all schools in in the city had been closed to stop children from being caught up in any further violence.

Reports also said security had been heightened in the northern city of Kano, where revenge attacks are feared.

The Lagos clashes pitted Hausa speakers, who are mainly from the Muslim north, against the more Christian and animist Yorubas from the southwest.

Nigeria's civilian government is struggling to keep a lid on ethnic tensions, with thousands having died since the end of military rule some three years ago.

But our correspondent in Lagos says this violence has far more to do with poverty and lack of opportunity, than with animosity between ethnic and religious groups.

Blast inquiry

Meanwhile, President Obasanjo has promised that the results of an inquiry would be made public into a series of explosions at an army weapons store in Lagos which left more than 1,000 people dead.

Residents leave Lagos
Some of those leaving have lived in the area all their lives

The president has been criticised for his handling of one of the country's worst disasters and his government's neglect of those made homeless by the devastation.

Two parliamentary inquiries have also been set up to investigate the cause of the blasts, which were reported to have been set off accidentally by a fire.

But a group of human rights lawyers have said they suspect political sabotage.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Dan Isaacs reports from Lagos
"It is now up to the politicians to get their act together"
See also:

04 Feb 02 | Africa
Troops move to quell Lagos riots
31 Jan 02 | Africa
Nigerian troops' anger boils over
28 Jan 02 | Africa
Eyewitness: Canal deaths
28 Jan 02 | Africa
Eyewitness: Lagos blast
29 Jan 02 | Africa
In pictures: Lagos explosions
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