6 killed in central Nigeria village, bomb attack

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By AHMED SAKA and JON GAMBRELL, Associated Press

JOS, Nigeria (AP) — Six people were killed Tuesday in separate attacks on a central Nigeria village and a bar where patrons gathered to watch a Champions League soccer match, officials said, the latest violence to strike a region on the dividing line of Nigeria's two dominant faiths.

The violence centered around Jos, a city on the dividing line between Nigeria's largely Christian south and Muslim north where attacks have killed hundreds in recent years.

Assailants killed five people on an attack Tuesday on the village of Gwa-Rim, Plateau state spokesman Pam Ayuba said. That comes after violence in the last week saw at least 13 people killed in the area, Ayuba said.

Tuesday night, a bomb exploded at a bar in a Christian neighborhood in the city where locals gathered to watch Chelsea play Barcelona in the Champions League, officials said. One person died in the blast, while nine others were wounded, Ayuba said.

Police and military units surrounded the blast site, a neighborhood where other similar attacks have been carried out in recent months.

Jos is the epicenter of religious violence along Nigeria's "middle belt," where dozens of ethnic groups live. Violence in Jos, though fractured across religious lines, often has more to do with local politics, economics and rights to grazing lands.

The government of Plateau state, where Jos is the capital, is controlled by Christian politicians. Muslims are not legally recognized as citizens. That has locked many out of jobs in a region where the tourism industry and tin mining have collapsed in the last decades.

Riots in Jos killed more than 1,000 people. Muslim-Christian battles around the city killed up to 700 people in 2004 and more than 300 residents died during a similar uprising in 2008. Human Rights Watch says at least 1,000 people were killed in Jos in 2010.

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Jon Gambrell reported from Lagos, Nigeria, and can be reached at www.twitter.com/jongambrellap.

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