Nigeria steps up security in restive Maiduguri
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Last Updated: Tuesday, February 21, 2012, 22:17
Abuja: Nigeria on Tuesday stepped up security in the restive northeastern city of Maiduguri with the military launching patrolling, a day after radical sect Boko Haram launched a revenge attack killing 30 people.

Militants of the radical Muslim sect attacked a market in the city yesterday in which at least eight militants were also killed in the ensuing gunbattle with security forces.

Militants of Boko Haram launched a revenge attack on the market where one of their members was killed by an irate mob seven days ago, locals said.

The markets in the city opened today but security forces shut all entry gates except one directly overlooking a police station. Funerals of victims of yesterday's attack took place as authorities in the city stepped up security with the military launching patrolling.

The militants threw several explosives into the market and some other parts of the city and launched gunfire, killing and wounding indiscriminately before the military intervened.

Hospital workers said the number of dead people could be up to 30.

While a resident said that at least 15 persons were killed in the ensuing gun battle with the military, the Joint Task Force (JTF) said it had killed only eight members of the sect.

"We saw about three pick up vans loaded with people in front of Ibrahim Taiwo Police Station, opposite the Baga Market this afternoon shortly after the gun battle with members of the sect, but we cannot tell whether they were corpses or those wounded," a source at the market said.

"Our men who arrived at the market engaged members of the Boko Haram sect in gun battle and we successfully killed eight of the sect members where we recovered weapons as well as detonated some IEDs," Lt Col Hassan Mohammed said.


First Published: Tuesday, February 21, 2012, 22:17

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