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Nigerian city under curfew after church massacre, gun battle

Published on Aug 9, 2012 9:16 AM

LAGOS (AFP) - Authorities in Nigeria's Kogi state have slapped a dusk-to-dawn curfew on a key city after a church massacre and a gunfight between militants and troops left at least 23 people dead, officials said on Wednesday.

The spate of violence in Okene in central Nigeria began on Monday night, when gunmen stormed an evangelical church, cut the electricity and opened fire once the building was plunged into darkness, killing 19 people.

On Tuesday, assailants shot at troops patrolling outside a government building in Okene, sparking an exchange of gunfire that left two soldiers and two of the gunmen dead, the military and police said.

The government building is located near a mosque, but the commander of a military task force in the state, Lieutanent Colonel Gabriel Olorunyomi, said worshippers observing evening Ramadan prayers were not the target.

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