Aminu Abubakar, a freelance correspondent for AFP based in the northern city of Kano, had gone to the town of Tafawa Balewa in Bauchi State on Tuesday to report on unrest.
Many dozens of people have been killed and thousands forced to flee their > homes in ethnic and religious clashes between Muslims and Christians in the town since an incident last month, witnesses told Abubakar
The crowd said they had heard an AFP journalist who is a Muslim was interviewing people and wanted to attack me," Abubakar
said."They threatened to kill me and I was only saved by the police," he
said, explaining that a police unit formed a protective ring around him.Abubakar
was forced to publicly rip up the notebook which he
had been using before the mob would allow him to leave, under police escort, for the state capital, Bauchi.
The youths were members of an ethnic-religious organisation known as the Zar Youth, whose members are Christians from the Sayawa ethnic community.The Sayawa have been angered by the introduction last month across most of the state of the Islamic law code, known as the Sharia, favoured by Muslims.
On June 19, a Muslim bus driver insisted that his
male and female passengers, some of whom were Christians, be segregated into different areas of the bus.This sparked a riot by the Christians who said it meant Islamic law was being imposed on them.Michael Yonanah, a Christian youth, told AFP before Abubakar
was forced out of the town that Sharia law was not supposed to be applied to Christians.