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Islamic authorities in the Nigerian city of Bauchi have reportedly launched a crackdown on sex workers identified by the Red Cross in a census.

The BBC’s Shehu Saulawa in Bauchi says that the local Sharia commission has begun rounding the women up.

But a commissioner said no arrests had been made and authorities were merely “supervising” against illicit acts.

The Red Cross carried out the census amid efforts to tackle the spread of HIV in the north-eastern state.

Muslim majority Bauchi is governed by the Islamic Sharia law.

After the census had identified 320 women, the local Sharia commission ordered that they be rounded up, our correspondent reports from Bauchi.

He says the Sharia commission seems to have been prompted to act by the perception that it was unable to enforce a ban on commercial sex workers in the state.

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