Maiduguri (Nigeria): A radical Muslim sect has
killed seven people in three separate attacks, authorities
said today, following through on threats to continue attacks
in a nation overcome by unrest and divided by religion.
Two soldiers who were distributing food to soldiers on
duty were shot dead today, said Maiduguri police chief Simeone
Two other people were killed yesterday when gunmen invaded
their homes, said military field operation officer Col. Victor
Ebhaleme. In Damaturu in nearby Yobe state, gunmen from the
sect shot and killed three more people from Chad yesterday,
said Yobe state police chief Tanko Lawan.
Authorities blame members of a radical Muslim sect locally
known as Boko Haram for all of the attacks which occurred in
areas that have seen a heightened security presence.
On Dec. 31, President Goodluck Jonathan declared Borno,
Niger, Plateau and Yobe states to be under a state of
emergency, meaning authorities can make arrests without proof
and conduct searches without warrants. He also ordered
international borders near Borno and Yobe state to be closed.
In a video released last week, a leader for Boko Haram
said the government run by Jonathan, a Christian from southern
Nigeria, could not handle attacks by the group.
"All these things you`ve been seeing happening, it`s Allah
who has been doing it because you refuse to believe in him and
you misuse his religion and because of that, the thing is more
than you, Jonathan," Imam Abubakar Shekau said in the video.
Boko Haram has been blamed for at least 74 deaths in
Nigeria since the start of this year alone and at least 510 deaths last year. (AP)