Abuja: Rights group Amnesty International
has accused Nigeria`s military of killing 23 people during
random shooting after a bomb blast in the restive northern
city of Maiduguri last week.
The group acknowledged a report that the bomb which
was allegedly set off by radical Islamic sect Boko Haram
injured three soldiers but accused the oil-rich country`s
Joint Military Task Force (JTF) of responding by shooting and
killing a number of people, apparently at random, before
burning down a market.
"President Goodluck Jonathan must get a grip on the
Nigerian armed forces and immediately prevent them from
carrying out further human rights violations and unlawful
killings," said the group`s Deputy Director for Africa Tawanda
Amnesty called on the government to investigate what
it terms as heinous crimes and put on trial those found to be
responsible for the killings.
"Allowing troops to go on the rampage will not bring
to justice those who carry out these terrible bomb attacks on
civilians," he said.
"While staying within the law, the government must
step up efforts to bring to justice members of Boko Haram who
wreck untold suffering on people in the middle belt".
Boko Haram has said it fights to install Islamic law
in the country and its consistent campaign has led to debate
on true federalism in the country with a mostly Muslim north
and predominant Christian south.
The group also seeks justice against policemen who
were accused of killing its leader, Muhammed Yusuf, in 2009
when a confrontation between them and the police led to the
death of not less than 800 people.