by Staff Writers
Kano, Nigeria (AFP) Sept 3, 2011
Nigerian soldiers killed at least two people and wounded several others in a reprisal attack on a northeastern town where a woman was killed last month, emergency and residents said Saturday.
"Soldiers trooped out of the barracks into town last night and shot residents indiscriminately and set shops on fire following the shooting of their colleague by unknown gunmen, resulting in at least two deaths with several people injured," Ibrahim Farinloye, spokesman for the emergency relief agency NEMA, told AFP.
He said the casualty figure from Friday's killings in the town of Biu in Borno State could be much higher.
"Details on destruction are sketchy as people have remained indoors for fear of being shot by soldiers who have been patrolling the streets since last night and setting fire on shops at will," Farinloye said.
"The town has been sealed, no one is let in or out. We will have to be on ground to properly assess the situation," he added.
Biu residents said up to 11 people could have been killed in the shootings.
"We have been in our homes since the soldiers began the rampage but from information we have been receiving on the phone no less than 11 people have been killed by soldiers who have taken over the town since last night," resident Mustapha Bura said on the phone from Biu.
"All the streets are deserted except for military vehicles patrolling them with soldiers shooting. Smoke from burning shops has filled the air. It is quite frightening," said another resident Ali Lawan.
A military spokesman in neighbouring Adamawa State overseeing Biu declined to comment on the incident.
"I have not been briefed on any incident in Biu, no news has reached us to that effect," Lieutenant Victor Olukoya told AFP.
Last month soldiers in Biu shot dead a woman protester and injured another while quelling a protest in the town.
Nigeria's Defence Minister Bello Halliru has ordered an inquiry into the incident.
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Uruguay shanty towns get partial reprieve
Montevideo, Uruguay (UPI) Sep 1, 2011
About half of the 200,000 residents of Montevideo's shanty towns are set to win a reprieve in a government plan to regularize substandard housing seen as an embarrassment to a country hailed abroad as a buoyant emerging economy with prospects of further growth. Officials said they would consider giving nearly half of the slums regular status, but the other half would need to go and like ... read more
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