Christian-muslim fight forces Nakonde border closure

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Business at Nakonde border post has come to stand-still following a fierce fight that has erupted between christians and the muslims at Tunduma in Tanzania.

Tanzanian authorities have closed both the exit and entry gates at Tunduma while the Zambian authorities have also closed the exit gate leading to Tanzania following the confusion at the Tunduma border this morning.

The confusion erupted just after 10:00 hours this morning.

Nakonde district commissioner James Singoyi has confirmed the development in an interview with the Zambia News and Information Services (ZANIS) today.

Mr. Sigoyi said that the two faith groups have waged a fight against each other following accusations from the Christian community that muslims allegedly subject cows to ritual ceremonies after slaughtering them.

Mr. Singoyi said the christian community is 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.

The district commissioner added that the police in Tanzania are currently engaged in running battles with the christians and the muslims at Tunduma adding that this is what has forced the border to be temporarily closed.

Tanzanian police officers have fired tear gas canisters and live ammunition to separate the two factions.

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

Meanwhile, police on the Zambian side have been placed on alert should the confusion spill over.