LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) -- Mobs of Christian youths retaliated against Muslims on Friday in the third day of riots triggered by a newspaper article about the Miss World pageant. Red Cross officials said about 100 had died and 500 more were seriously injured in the violence.
Sporadic gunshots and shouting could be heard Friday in the northern city of Kaduna, which has seen the fiercest fighting. Angry mobs have stabbed and set fire to bystanders and rampaged through streets. At least four churches have been destroyed by fire.
The violence began Wednesday, when the Kaduna office of ThisDay newspaper was torched after the paper published an article questioning Muslim objections to the pageant. The contest is set for Dec. 7 in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, 225 miles southwest of Kaduna. The article, published Saturday, suggested the prophet Muhammad would have chosen a wife among the contestants.
The newspaper ran a brief front-page apology Monday and a longer retraction on Thursday.
On Friday, plumes of black smoke rose above this tense, religiously mixed city of several million people and authorities extended a round-the-clock curfew -- although many ignored the order.
Young Muslim men shouting "Allahu Akhbar," or "God is great," ignited makeshift barricades of tires and garbage. Others chanted, "Down with beauty" and "Miss World is sin."
Nigerian Red Cross officials reported about 100 dead by Friday morning, said George Bennet, head of the International Federation of the Red Cross delegation.
Other Red Cross officials said Friday that more than 500 people had been injured.
Islamist groups have warned for months that they would protest the pageant, prompting organizers to postpone the finale until after the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
Muslim groups say the pageant promotes promiscuity and indecency.
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