Abuja: At least nine people were shot dead by suspected members of a radical Muslim sect in Nigeria's northern cities of Kano and Maiduguri which have witnessed many incidents of violence in the past few days.
In Maiduguri, two were killed during an exchange of gunfire between the sect and soldiers at the centre of the town while some members later gunned down four others at a nearby market, a Joint Task Force (JTF) official said.
The incident happened just after President Goodluck Jonathan lifted curfew imposed in several parts of northern states.
Police commissioner of Borno state Bala Hassan confirmed the incident.
In the second attack, which took place in Kano, gunmen on motorbikes shot and killed three persons playing cards at a residential area and drove away.
Curfews were initially imposed on some states in the northern region due to increased suicide and gun attacks by Boko Haram sect which resulted in hundreds of deaths especially in Christian churches.
Although police did not name any individuals or groups responsible for the killings, Islamist sect Boko Haram has been known to carry out drive-by shootings in Kano, the largest city in northern Nigeria.
Boko Haram says it detests Western education and wants to impose an Islamic Sharia government in Nigeria's north.
The sect carried out bombings, shootings and suicide attacks that killed hundreds of people since 2009 when they started their uprising.
First Published: Friday, July 20, 2012, 11:00