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Page last updated at 17:54 GMT, Monday, 1 December 2008

Jos eyewitness: Long, sharp knives

Man injured in post-election violence in the central Nigerian city of Jos is carried to an ambulance

Teacher Japeth, 25, speaks to the BBC News website from his home in Jos where post-election violence has engulfed the central Nigerian city, leaving hundreds dead, as rival Christian and Muslim mobs attacked each other.

Today people should have been at their working places but still they are not. They are too frightened. We are staying inside. Even the shops are quiet - nowhere is open.

You can't buy anything to eat - all we have now is water to drink. Nothing more.

Nigeria map

By the time the sun rose [on Friday] there was a lot of smoke everywhere - houses were burning.

And there was mass killing of people.

The violence continued until late that night and then on Saturday it began again at 0530 hours and went on until 2300 hours. All the security forces were around: the air-force, the police and the army.

I have a telescope and through it I watched what was happening from my home in the Christian quarters, high up on Shaka Hill overlooking Jos.

I could see the burning houses, all the smoke and hear the gunshots. Women were running away carrying their children, clothes, foodstuffs and water. Men were using petrol to douse the grass-roofed houses and then lighting with a match.

Lack of trust

I could hear shouts of "Allahu Akbar".

Some of the Christians came running to safety at our place.

I saw all this on Friday and again on Saturday but on Saturday there was even more shooting and a lot of shouting.

One of my neighbours is a doctor and he could not reach work alone and so they came and picked him up so he could attend to casualties. He told me most of the wounded had had their hands and legs cut off with long sharp knives.

The government must take drastic action to find an urgent solution to this crisis - the main thing is the lack of trust between the Muslim brothers and the Christian brothers. The governor is trying but it is not what we expect. I think trust can maybe be gained when the state government and the federal government work together.

I am worried, seriously worried because it is not easy to lose a colleague or a neighbour or someone who you pray with. And this is the second time that it has come.

I lost someone from my village. He was on his way to school on his bike and he unfortunately found himself surrounded by angry Muslim brothers and he was killed.


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