Abuja: Nigeria was hit by riots for a second day on Wednesday as a general strike against lifting of fuel subsidy led to violent clashes between police and protesters, and saw a mob attacking mosque, killing seven persons.

In the southern city of Benin, rioting youth tried to set a mosque and a Quranic school ablaze in retaliation to the killing of southern Christians in the north even as they killed five people.
   
Red Cross spokesman, Nwakpa O Nwakpa, said the youth also injured more than six others.

An Islamic fundamentalist sect, Boko Haram, has killed score of Christians in the north in recent times and has also given a three-day ultimatum for them to vacate the region.

The Red Cross spokesman said the youth took advantage of the protests to target mosques in retaliatory attacks.

Along a road linking the largest southern town of Ibadan and the commercial capital of Lagos, two persons were killed by security personnel who came to disperse a protest.

Sources told that there was a face-off between the security personnel and some of the protesters during which live ammunitions were fired at them by the police.

Sporadic shooting continued in the area and the protesters scampered for safety.

An eyewitness said one of the dead, identified as Kaola, a diesel seller at Kara, Ibafo was shot in the chest.

In another southern city of Osogbo, one person, identified as Raheem Mojeed was killed during the protest.

The dead man was a member of one of the civil society groups that was spearheading the anti-fuel subsidy removal protest in the state.

The victim died after he allegedly received matchete cuts inflicted on him by a civilian said to be a thug of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP), the party of the country's President Goodluck Jonathan.

The state commissioner of police, Solomon Olusegun confirmed the incident, saying the suspects had been arrested.

Flights could not take off at the airports throughout the country as aviation workers joined the strikes and roads were abandoned by motorists leaving commuters stranded.

Offices and shops remained closed in towns across the country in response to the call by the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) to all workers to join the demonstrations or remain at home.

On Monday, two people were shot dead by the police in Nigeria's commercial capital of Lagos while two others were killed by the force in northern city of Kano during a protest against oil subsidy removed by Jonathan.


(Agencies)