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MASSES DEMAND END TO MILITARY RULE

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Tens of thousands of people poured into streets blocked with flaming barricades Tuesday to demand an end to the military dictatorship. At least one tribal clash erupted.

"The military is dead," people chanted on the second day of a general strike designed to force the government to recognize annulled June 12 elections that were to have ended a decade of military rule.The strike has touched off the first serious unrest in Lagos since June 16, when the dictatorship abruptly voided results of the balloting, which according to unofficial counts was won by business tycoon Moshood K.O. Abiola. Human-rights groups that called the weeklong strike have urged Abiola to set up an alternative government, but he has not responded.

All major markets, shops, banks and businesses were closed Tuesday with metal shutters to protect goods from looters who on Monday toted away televisions and boom boxes on their heads and carted refrigerators and air conditioners on wheelbarrows. No looting was reported Tuesday.

Police, aided by peaceful demonstrators, dismantled some of the barriers built from tires, buses and vehicles that protesters set aflame. But within an hour, angry youths and university students set up new barricades.

For a second day, they blocked all bridges leading from Lagos' three main residential islands to the commercial district on the mainland. The main road to Murtala Muhammed International Airport was barred by burning barriers, and the region's main airline, Air Afrique, canceled its flights to the city.

About 1,000 people armed with cutlasses and daggers surged out of the Idi-Araba neighborhood of the northern Hausa tribe in southern Lagos and told police who confronted them that they only wanted to protect themselves.

The Hausa traders said hundreds of youths stoned and clubbed them overnight when they tried to open their market. They said dozens of people were hurt. Police moved into the neighborhood, promising protection and trying to persuade them to disarm.

State radio broadcast messages from Information Secretary Uche Chukwumerije warning rioters, "Do not take our patience for weakness." Chukwumerije tried to play down the riots, accusing "a few people pretending to campaign for democracy" of forcing most people to stay away from work.

Nigeria's military dictator, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, met with leaders of the country's two political parties on Monday, but they were unable to reach a compromise on the crisis.