Nigeria Forces Say Kill 16 Islamists in Fire Fight
Nigerian Isalmists are known for killing Chirsitans and members of the country’s security forces. Nigerian military says it killed 16 suspected Islamists. Christians and other targets of the Islamists have called for more protection from attacksy the Islamists.
06/05/2012 Nigeria (Reuters)-Nigerian forces shot dead 16 suspected militants in a fire fight with Islamist sect Boko Haram on Tuesday, the military said.
A Reuters reporter heard gunfire and explosions echoing through the remote city of Maiduguri, in Nigeria’s dry, dusty northeast.
Boko Haram, which wants to create an Islamic state in parts of Nigeria, has been blamed for hundreds of bomb and gun attacks on security forces and civilians over the past two years.
It has become the main security threat in Nigeria, Africa’s top energy producer, and has linked up with other Islamist groups in the region such as al Qaeda’s north African wing, although it is based far from oil producing facilities in the south.
“Some suspected Boko Haram terrorists attempted to open fire on (security) operatives but could not succeed. We have so far shot dead 16 of the terrorists during a shoot out,” field operations officer for northeastern Borno state, Colonel Victor Ebhaleme, told Reuters by telephone.
He said Nigerian forces had seized weapons and ammunition from the suspects and destroyed some of their home-made bombs in controlled explosions.
“We were able to achieve this feat based on information from the public,” he said. “There were no casualties on our side”.
The sect claimed responsibility for a suicide car bombing of a church in northern Nigeria on Sunday that killed at least 12 people, continuing a growing pattern of attacks on Christian worshippers.
Suspected Islamist militants shot dead a retired police deputy, his driver and two aides in the north’s main city of Kano on Tuesday, police there said.