Zambia closes border after Tanzania religious clashes

Zambia has closed its northern border after religious clashes broke out in neighbouring Tanzania. PHOTO | BBC 

Zambia and Tanzania Wednesday closed their border after clashes between Christians and Muslims caused by accusations of rituals at Tunduma in Tanzania, state news agency Zanis reported.

Business at Nakonde border in Muchinga Province has come to standstill following a fierce fight that has erupted between the Christians and the Muslims at Tunduma in Tanzania, reported Zanis.

It added that Tanzania had closed its both exit and entry gates at Tunduma, while the Zambian authorities had also closed the exit gate leading to Tanzania following the confusion at the border point in the morning.

"... Christians and Muslims in Tanzania are fighting after the Christians accused the Muslims that when they slaughter cows, they allegedly subject them to rituals," Nakonde District Commissioner James Singoyi is quoted as saying.

"The Christians are demanding that they should be allowed to slaughter the animals, which are later taken to various butcheries and other outlets at the border for sale."

Tanzanian police officers had to fire tear gas canisters and live ammunition to separate the two factions, it reported.

No traffic was being allowed to cross into Tanzania or leave that country for Zambia.

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