March 7, 2010 / 3:00 PM / 10 years ago

Timeline: Ethnic and religious unrest in Nigeria

(Reuters) - Following is a timeline of religious and ethnic violence in Nigeria:

2000 - Thousands killed in northern Nigeria as non-Muslims opposed to the introduction of Islamic sharia law fight Muslims who demand its implementation in the northern state of Kaduna.

September 2001 - Christian-Muslim violence flares after Muslim prayers in Jos, with churches and mosques set on fire. At least 1,000 people are killed, according to a September 2002 report by a panel set up by Plateau state government.

November 2002 - Nigeria abandons the Miss World contest in Abuja. The decision follows the death of at least 216 people in rioting in the northern city of Kaduna after a newspaper article suggests the Prophet Mohammad would probably have married one of the Miss World beauty queens if he were alive today.

May 2004 - Hundreds of people, mostly Muslim Fulanis, are killed by Christian Tarok militia in the central Nigerian town of Yelwa. Survivors say they buried 630 corpses. Police say hundreds were killed.

— Muslim and Christian militants fight street battles later the same month in the northern city of Kano. Christian community leaders say 500-600 people, mostly Christians, were killed in two days of violence.

February 2006 - At least 157 people die in a week of rioting by Muslim and Christian mobs. The violence begins in the northeastern city of Maiduguri when a Muslim protest against Danish cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad runs out of control. Revenge attacks follow in the south.

November 2008 - Clashes between Muslim and Christian gangs triggered by a disputed local government election kill at least 700 people in the central city of Jos, according to U.S.-based Human Rights Watch.

February 2009 - Bauchi state governor imposes night curfew on Bauchi city on February 22, a day after clashes in which at least 11 people died and churches and mosques were burnt down.

July 2009 - Boko Haram, an organisation which demands the adoption of sharia in all of Nigeria, stages attacks in the northeastern city of Bauchi after the arrest of some of its members. More than 50 people are killed and over 100 arrested.

— Police in Maiduguri, home of Boko Haram’s leader Mohammed Yusuf, say security forces killed 90 sect members on July 27. In neighbouring Yobe state, police recover the bodies of 33 sect members after a gunbattle near the town of Potiskum on July 29.

— Yusuf is shot dead while in police detention in Maiduguri on July 30.

— Red Cross and defence officials say more than 700 people were killed during the five-day Boko Haram uprising.

December 2009 - At least 40 people are killed in clashes between security forces and members of an Islamic sect armed with machetes in Bauchi.

January 2010 - Hundreds are reported killed after clashes between Muslim and Christian gangs in Jos, most by gunfire. Police estimate the death toll at 326, although some community leaders put the figure at more than 400.

March 2010 - More than 100 people are killed in clashes between Islamic pastoralists and Christian villagers in Dogo Nahawa, south of Jos, witnesses say.

Reporting by Nick Tattersall in Lagos and David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit; Editing by Charles Dick

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