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Christian-Muslim violence warrants probe, rights group says

Christian-Muslim violence warrants probe, rights group says

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By Andreena Narayan | CNN.com

Lagos, Nigeria (CNN) -- Reports of at least 150 Muslims killed in recent religious clashes in Nigeria should be investigated, a human rights group urged Saturday.

Witnesses told Human Rights Watch that armed men attacked Kuru Karama in central Nigeria on Tuesday, "killing many as they tried to flee and burning many others alive," the international organization said Saturday.

The assailants targeted Muslims, reportedly killing at least 150, Human Rights Watch said.

Community leaders from Jos, a city about 19 miles north of Kuru Karama, and journalists told the organization that later in the week they saw dozens of bodies lodged in wells or sewage pits. The bodies of 121 people, including 22 children, had been recovered, the organization said. Most of the homes in the town were burned down, along with three mosques, the group said.

Those interviewed by the group said they thought the attackers were Christian, Human Rights Watch said. But even Christians were not spared. When a Christian pastor tried to stop the attacks he was beaten, a Muslim imam told the group.

Human Rights Watch called on Vice President Goodluck Jonathan to open a criminal investigation into the deaths based on the reports the groups said were credible.

Officials are still tallying death figures in the latest round of violence, said H.A. Angulu, director of public communications for the Ministry of Information and Communications.

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