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Nigerian priest, churches attacked in Miss World rioting

A Nigerian priest was in serious condition and two churches and a church center were destroyed during riots in Kaduna, Nigeria, sparked by a newspaper article about the Miss World pageant.

Two parishes, St. Augustine's and Holy Cross, along with the Kaduna Archdiocese's Catholic Resource Centre, were destroyed in the rioting, which began on Wednesday, Fr Anthony Zakka told Catholic News Service.

The church buildings were "razed down by the protesting youths for reasons best known to them," Fr Zakka said.

A parish priest whose name was unknown was in serious condition at an undisclosed hospital, he said.

Fr Zakka said the priest lost much blood in the attack, but was saved by "people of good will" who donated their blood to the priest.

More than 200 people were reported killed in violence sparked by a newspaper article related to the Miss World pageant. The event has now been moved to London, with a chartered plane carrying the women touched down at Gatwick Airport in the UK early Sunday morning local time.

Catholic News Services

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25 Nov 2002