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At least 16 killed in Nigerian protests

By Jeff Koinange
Lagos Bureau

LAGOS, Nigeria (CNN) -- At least 16 people, including six schoolgirls, have been killed in clashes between anti-U.S. protesters and police in the northern Nigerian city of Kano.

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The protests began peacefully Friday as a reaction to the U.S.-led airstrikes in Afghanistan, but turned violent Saturday, officials said.

Some of the unrest also was attributed to traditional Muslim-Christian tensions that are common in Nigeria, a country of 120 million whose citizens are split almost evenly between Muslims and Christians. Kano is predominantly Muslim.

Most of the dead were Christians, and dozens of churches were on fire, authorities reported. Dozens of people had been injured in the clashes.

Military tanks patrolled the streets, enforcing a curfew in effort from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. Police have been ordered to shoot-to-kill curfew violators, officials said.

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