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Curfew Imposed After Riots Over Parking Space Kill Five

May 31, 1995

LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) _ The government announced a curfew in a northern city Wednesday after a fight over a parking space escalated into ethnic riots that killed at least five people.

Violence erupted Tuesday in Kano when a taxi driver and a merchant argued about parking in the crowded marketplace. The driver was from the Muslim-dominated Hausa ethnic group and the trader from the Christian Ibo tribe.

As the scuffle continued, both men called on fellow tribesmen to join in. When word of the clash spread through the market, it sparked more fights that spilled onto city streets. People battled with sticks, machetes and stones and rampaged through neighborhoods, burning shops and cars and attacking houses.

One woman was stabbed to death in her home. Details of the other deaths were not clear. Police spokesman Abdullahi Hashimu said five people died.

An overnight curfew was announced Wednesday. Few people ventured onto the streets during the day, fearful of a renewal of the ethnic fighting that has plagued Kano for years.

Kano, a city of about 500,000 people, is predominantly Muslim. But the marketplace where Tuesday’s riots began is filled with migrant Ibos selling their wares.

In December, an Ibo man was beheaded by Muslim extremists. About 100 people died in Muslim-Christian riots four years ago.

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