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Fundamentalists Monday burnt a church and destroyed a school in Funtua, a town in Katsina State, during a protest over the alleged blasphemy of Prophet Mohammed by a schoolteacher.
Ideal International School, located in Tudun Wada Quarters in Funtua, was partially damaged after a mob attacked it because a teacher set a question alleged to be offensive to Prophet Muhammad and his mother.
Yesterday’s attack was the climax of a crisis that had been brewing since last Friday when some pupils raised the alarm over the issue.
Katsina State Police Command spokesman, Aminu Abubakar Saddiq, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), who confirmed the incident, said the burnt church was near the school, whose classrooms were destroyed in the attack.
It was gathered that tension started building up in Funtua over the weekend when some fundamentalists attempted to burn the school on Sunday but they were repelled by security personnel drafted to guard the institution.
Sources told THISDAY that the tension was aggravated by the sermons of some Islamic clerics at last Friday’s service who demanded that government must take an action as the teacher accused of blasphemy would not go unpunished.
It was learnt that the situation worsened yesterday when the mob mobilised in a fresh bid to attack the school, but they were resisted by a combined team of army and police personnel drafted to the area. The source said the security personnel dispersed the mob that later relocated to lit bonfires on major roads in the town.
The district head of Funtua, Alhaji Idris Sambo Idris, and some community leaders were seen going round the town to urge the people to eschew violence and allow peace to reign. They also urged them to allow government to resolve the issue.