[ 2012-02-25 ]
Raid by Nigeria Islamists on police kills 14
KANO, Nigeria (AFP) - Suspected Boko Haram
Islamists razed a police station and killed 14
people, whose bodies were found burned, in an
overnight raid in Nigeria's northeastern city of
Gombe, witnesses said Saturday.
The city was put under lockdown, with no residents
allowed in public, after the gun and bomb assaults
where attackers also tried to break into a prison
in a failed attempt to free the inmates, witnesses
and local radio said.
Boko Haram, responsible for a wave of recent raids
in northern and central Nigeria, have repeatedly
claimed its members are being illegally held in
state prisons and have demanded their release.
Many of Boko Haram's recent attacks have targeted
Suspected members of the group also gunned to
death five worshippers inside a mosque on Friday
as evening prayers ended in Kano, Nigeria's second
Boko Haram's violent campaign has intensified in
recent months and on Thursday Nigeria's top
military chief said the group has formed links
with Al-Qaeda's north Africa branch, known as
Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.
"I have seen at least 14 burnt bodies in and
around the police station," a witness in Gombe
said on condition of anonymity.
He said he counted 10 bodies inside the police
building, adding the victims could be policemen,
while four others were found dead in a burned car
outside the station.
"At a roundabout between the police station and
the prison stood a car that was burned down with
all its four occupants. It's not clear who they
were," the witness added.
Locals said the police station was completely
burned in the attack.
Another resident, Babandi Ali, said "the police
station has been razed and there are burned bodies
inside, but I couldn't confirm how many. However
there is a burned car at the roundabout with four
people burned inside."
A jail guard told AFP late Friday that prison
officers battled Boko Haram gunmen who tried to
gain entry to the prison in an apparently failed
bid to free group members being held there.
"The prison is intact," a resident who lives
The prison overlooks the police station and both
are situated near the palace of the emir, the top
traditional Muslim leader in the city of Gombe,
the capital of a state of the same name.
Boko Haram has previously targeted Christian
worshippers in Gombe.
Authorities were not immediately available to
comment on the raid, but local radio said
officials have imposed a 24-hour curfew across the
Boko Haram launched an uprising in 2009 in
Africa's most populous nation, which was put down
by a brutal military assault that left some 800
After lying dormant for about a year, the group
has re-emerged with a series of shootings and bomb
attacks that rights groups say have killed more
than 935 people.
The sect's deadliest ever assault left 185 people
dead in Kano last month.
The group claimed responsibility for the Christmas
Day bomb attack on a Catholic Church outside the
capital Abuja that claimed at least 44 lives.
Witnesses and a medic said 30 vendors died in a
attack on a market this week in Maiduguri, Boko
Haram's home base.
Source - AFP
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