updated 3/21/2010 3:59:15 PM ET 2010-03-21T19:59:15

A Nigerian police spokesman says 164 people will be charged with a variety of offenses, including terrorism, for their suspected roles in the slaughter of more than 200 people in central Nigeria this month.

Spokesman Emmanuel Ojukwu says 41 suspects will be charged with terrorism for their alleged role in the March 7 massacres in villages south of the regional capital of Jos. If convicted they face possible life in prison.

Ojukwu says others will be charged with illegally holding firearms, rioting and other offenses.

The fighting crosses religious lines but often also involves politics, economics and land. Mostly Christians died in the March 7 bloodletting. January rioting in the region left more than 300 people dead, most Muslims.

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