At least eight schoolchildren were killed late Tuesday when a van rammed into a religious procession in Gombe State held to commemorate the birth of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad, police said.
“We are aware that eight children died of injuries from an accident in the town of Malam Sidi. The children were taking part in what we understood was a Mawlid rally organized by various schools,” police spokesman Ahmed Usman told Turkey’s Anadolu Agency early Wednesday, adding that 19 others were injured.
Mawlid refers to the birth of Prophet Muhammad. Nigeria had declared Monday Dec. 12 as a national holiday to commemorate the event but various Muslim groups, mostly Sufis, often hold Mawlid events for as long as possible until Ramadan.
Usman said the driver of the van was burned to death by a mob protesting the incident “allegedly because the man attempted to run away”.
He said two arrests have been made in relation to the mob attack while peace has been restored in the community which lies a few kilometers away from Gombe, the capital city of the eponymous state.
Daily Trust reports that 12 children were killed in the accident, quoting local sources. Anadolu Agency could not confirm this figure.
Follow us on Twitter at @thesignalng
Copyright 2015 SIGNAL. Permission to use portions of this article is granted provided appropriate credits are given to www.signalng.com and other relevant sources.