Nigerian Authorities Blame Islamic Group for Shootings in the North

Mihai-Silviu Chirila

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The Islamic militant group Boko Haram was accused of having injured three people in an attack staged in the northeastern Nigerian state of Borno, including a retired police officer.

A police spokesman said that suspect members of Boko Haram have been arrested and they are now submitted to questioning.

The shootings in Borno yesterday follow the attacks on Christmas Eve in the central state of Plateau, in the province of Jos, attacks that were claimed yesterday by a radical group.

The attacks on Christian people killed 86 people and set the stage for possible sectarian violence in Nigeria, a country split in half between Christians and Muslims.

Boko Haram, an organization that rejects the Western style of life and draws inspiration from the Afghanistan’s Taliban, staged a few attacks against police stations in the north of Nigerian cities in July 2009, determining the government to send reinforcements in the region.

At least 700 people died in the fighting, but the security forces managed to kill the 39-year-old leader of the group, Mohammed Yusuf.

On September 7, gunmen were suspected to have participated in the attack against a prison in Bauchi, a city in the north of Nigeria, on which occasion they freed 721 inmates, including many members of their group who were waiting for their trials for the violence in 2009.

Since 1999, about 14,000 people died because of the sectarian violence in the most populous country and the top oil producer of Africa.11

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