Friday, 3 June 2011

Militants attack a number of Niger Delta States

As the inauguration celebrations were winding down in both Abuja and Nigeria's other 26 States, there were bombings in some parts of the country. The most serious occurred at the Mammy Market of the Shadawanka 33 Army Brigade Barracks in Bauchi State where three explosions killed 14 people and injured more than 40. According to eyewitness reports, they happened when the brigade's officers, as well as civilians, were relaxing.

Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Azubuike Ihejirika, who visited the scene, said security has been increased and there were ongoing investigations to flush out the culprits. According to most reports, the bombings are believed to be the work of Boko Haram, an Islamic fundamentalist group that has been waging a terror campaign against government institutions and supporters in the northern States, including Bauchi, Bornu and Kano where the sect has its followers.

Minutes before the Bauchi State incident, there was an explosion in the Zuba International Market in the outskirts of Abuja, killing one person and injuring about 10 others including a toddler.

Suspected Boko Haram insurgents also attacked a police station at Bulkachuwa in Bauchi State on Tuesday 31st May. They were said to have opened fire with automatic weapons at around 20.00 before lobbing an explosive device into the police station, killing a policeman. This is the second suspected Boko Haram attack in Bauchi State since the elections.

Twin bomb explosions were also reported in the Ungwar Juma and PZ areas of the Kaduna State capital of Zaria at about 22.00 hours on Monday 30th May. Fortunately, nobody was killed although there were some casualties.

Boko Haram assassins have also reportedly shot dead Abba Anas - the younger brother of a Bornu State traditional ruler, the Shehu of Borno, Abba Kyari Umar Garbai – on the evening of Monday 30th May. The Shehu's family has previously been the target of Boko Haram attacks.

The assassination followed a 27th May attack by Boko Haram on the Damboa Divisional Police Station in the Bornu State capital of Maiduguri. The State's Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, confirmed that about “Seventy suspected Boko Haram militants” were involved in the raid.

On 30th May, the Borno State police had warned the public that it had received intelligence on impending attacks “on the good people of Borno State” by followers of Boko Haram.

For more news and expert analysis about Nigeria, please see Nigeria Focus and Nigeria Politics & Security.

© 2011 Menas Associates

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