Kano: Gunmen in Nigeria have killed at least
one officer after opening fire on a police station in the city
of Kano, where attacks claimed by Islamists left 185 dead last
week, police said on Saturday.
Security forces in Africa`s most populous nation and top
oil producer are struggling to contain the menace by the Boko
Haram Islamist sect that has used increasingly bold tactics to
kill more than 200 people this year alone.
The latest attack in Kano, the economic heart of
Nigeria`s mainly Muslim north, occurred just before 7:00 pm
(1800 GMT) on Friday, police said today, confirming the
assault first reported by residents.
Gunmen "opened fire on our men and the policemen on duty
fired back leading to a shootout," city police spokesman
Magaji Majia said, adding that one officer was killed.
Witnesses had previously said two officers had died.
The attack came at the start of a nighttime curfew that
has been in effect in the northern city since a January 20
assault by Boko Haram killed 185 people, including an Indian.
Kano had previously escaped the worst of Boko Haram`s
violence, and the brazen, coordinated strikes that primarily
targetted police stations in a major city highlighted the
group`s renewed strength.
Since then in Kano, another police station was attacked
on Tuesday night, with authorities reporting three people
wounded and a German engineer was kidnapped on the outskirts
of city on Thursday.
Also on Thursday, a Kano bus station was hit, with no one
reported being killed.
The Friday night attack happened in the Mandawari
neighbourhood. Residents said they heard the gunmen shouting
"Allahu Akbar" as they converged on the police station,
travelling on motorcyles and in an all-terrain vehicle.
The purported head of Boko Haram, Abubakar Muhammad
Shekau, threatened more violence in an audio recording
recently posted on YouTube.
Boko Haram has previously said that it wants to create an
Islamic state in Nigeria`s deeply-impoverished mainly Muslim
north, charging the government with harassing Muslims and
raiding Islamic schools.
The group was also blamed for coordinated attacks on
Christmas Day, the mostly deadly at a Catholic Church near the
capital Abuja where at least 44 people were killed, but its
victims also include scores of Muslims.
Top Nigerian politicians have denied that the Boko Haram
insurgency is being fuelled by religious tensions in a country
divided between a mainly Christian south and mainly Muslim