Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Nigeria: Army in crossfire with Boko Haram, again

Nigeria's army has said that it has killed at least eight Boko Haram militants while fighting in the north-eastern city of Maiduguri. The militants reportedly died in an exchange of gunfire after several explosions at the local market.

The army also said that three civilians were injured in the crossfire, although according to some witnesses as many as 20 corpses were seen at the market.

Over the last couple of months Boko Haram has launched a number of deadly attacks across northern Nigeria, involving both security officials and civilians. Maiduguri residents told the BBC they heard several explosions rip through the Baga market.

Speaking to the BBC, a military spokesman said that soldiers had responded to the explosions and partook in a gun battle with Boko Haram members. The spokesman said eight militants were killed while several others escaped and were being hunted.

Boko Haram wants to overthrow the government and establish Islamic law in Nigeria. Last week, the group said it had carried out an attack on a prison in central Kogi state, releasing seven of its members.

Sources: BBC News, Bloomberg, WSJ

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

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