December 24, 2011

Nigeria conflict: Boko Haram battles 'kill at least 50'

Young girls walk past a burnt-out vehicle in Damaturu, Nigeria (4 Nov 2011)Damaturu was the scene of an attack by Islamists last month
More than 50 people have died in days of fighting between Nigerian troops and suspected Islamist gunmen in the country's north-east, officials say.
Boko Haram militants had suffered heavy casualties in a lengthy gun-battle in the town of Damaturu, said army chief of staff Lt Gen Azubuike Ihejirika.
"We lost three of our soldiers... but we killed over 50 of them," he said.
The group, whose name means "Western education is forbidden", often targets security forces and state institutions.
"They came with sophisticated and heavy weaponry... and bombs but our trained soldiers subdued them," Lt Gen Ihejirika told local radio.
Deaths were also reported after clashes in Potiskum to the west of Damaturu.
'Lobbing grenades'
The fighting had erupted in Damaturu - the state capital of Yobe - on Thursday afternoon, Yobe's Police Commissioner Lawal Tanko, told the BBC earlier.
Boko Haram first came to prominence in 2009 when hundreds of its followers were killed when they attacked police stations in Maiduguri.
Its founder, Mohammed Yusuf, was arrested but died in police custody.
Boko Haram resumed its attacks - mostly in Maiduguri - a year later and has since staged deadly raids across the mostly Muslim north, as well as central areas such as Jos and Abuja.
Under Yusuf's leadership, the group demanded that Nigeria become an Islamic state but it is now believed to be made up of several factions, with various demands.

No comments:

Post a Comment