24th December, 2011
Authorities in Nigeria have confirmed that at least 61 people have died in northeast Nigeria over several days of fighting between security forces and members of a radical Muslim sect, the Associated Press has reported. The war claimed two senior police officers yesterday, an assistant commissioner and the head of the military police in the area. And no fewer than 55 of the militants have also been killed.
Police, military and mortuary officials in Borno and Yobe states said Saturday that the deaths come amid a series of attacks suspected to be carried out by the sect known as Boko Haram.
The fighting began Thursday, with gunshots and explosions echoing through the cities of Damaturu and Maiduguri.
Boko Haram has carried out an increasingly bloody sectarian fight against Nigeria’s central government in its effort to implement strict Sharia law in Africa’s most populous nation.
A similar anti-terror war in 2009, led to the extra-judicial murder of Mohammed Yusuf, leader of the muslim insurgents and other leaders. The crushing of the group, however, did not last as members regrouped and have claimed responsibility for a wave of bombings, assassinations that had affected the capital, Abuja and cities such as Jos, Kano and Kaduna, Maiduguri and Damaturu.