Nigerian Firefight Kills 11 Militants; Policeman Dead in Boko Haram Attack

Fighting between Islamic militants and armed forces in northern Nigeria during the last two days has killed 12 people, including a policeman, according to military and police officials.

Nigerian soldiers today killed 11 members of Boko Haram, an Islamist militant group, in a gun battle in Maiduguri, in the northeast of the country, according to army spokesman Victor Ibhaleme. The men, “high profile” members of Boko Haram, were shot after a gunfight broke out during a routine stop-and-search operation, he said by phone from the city, declining to give further details.

In Kano, also in the north of the country, gunmen suspected of being members of the group attacked a police station yesterday, killing one policeman, spokesman Musa Magaji Majiya said by phone from the city. “Our men repelled the attack and hit some of the attackers,” he said.

Authorities in Africa’s top oil producer blame Boko Haram, whose name means “Western education is a sin,” for bombings and attacks in the mainly Muslim north and the capital Abuja during the past year.

The group claimed the Christmas Day bombing of a church near Abuja that killed 43 people and the Aug. 26 suicide-bombing of the United Nations building in the capital that killed 24. It also claimed responsibility for bomb attacks on government buildings in Kano on Jan. 20, in which at least 165 people died.

To contact the reporters on this story: Gbenga Akingbule in Maiduguri via Johannesburg on 1922 or at areed12@bloomberg.net; Mustapha Muhammad in Kano via Johannesburg on at areed12@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dulue Mbachu at dmbachu@bloomberg.net

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