Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Nigeria: Muslim cleric killed by suspected Boko Haram gunman

A prominent Muslim cleric has been shot dead by a suspected Boko Haram militant. Ibrahim Birkuti was shot in north-eastern Nigeria by a gunman on a motorcycle. The cleric had previously openly criticised the Islamic group for killing dozens of security agents and politicians near the city of Maiduguri.

Birkuti was killed outside his house in the town of Biu, 200km south of Maiduguri, where the group has carried out most of its attacks in recent months. Birkuti's neighbour Babagana Hanafi told AFP news agency, that a “gunman riding a motorcycle stopped outside the house and brought out a gun from under his shirt and shot him twice at close range before fleeing”.

Last week, Boko Haram told the BBC it had carried out a series of bombings after President Goodluck Jonathan's inauguration. The group's spokesman said Boko Haram was also responsible for killing the brother of one of Nigeria's most important Islamic leaders.

Sources: BBC News, AFP, People's Daily Online

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

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