Nigerian Security, Islamist Fighting Continues, Police Say

Fighting between Nigerian security forces and Islamist militants in the northeastern city of Damaturu continued for a second day, a police official said.

“I can’t confirm the number of casualties because the operation is still on,” Salihu Adamu, a police spokesman in the city, said today by phone. The Yobe state capital was hit by multiple explosions and gunshots late yesterday during attacks by the Boko Haram Islamist group, the military said.

The Yobe state government imposed a 24-hour curfew in Damaturu following the attacks, Abdullahi Bego, a spokesman for Governor Ibrahim Gaidam, said today in an e-mailed statement.

Boko Haram yesterday claimed responsibility for suicide bombings at three churches in the northern cities of Kaduna and Zaria on June 17 that killed scores of people. The group said it was retaliating for alleged attacks on Muslims and mosques. The militants began their violent campaign in 2009 and say they want to impose Islamic law on Africa’s top oil producer, which is roughly split between a mainly Muslim north and predominantly Christian south.

About 152 people died in a similar attack on Nov. 4 in Damaturu, said Shehu Sani, president of the Civil Rights Congress. He estimated that 53 people died in the weekend bombings in Kaduna and Zaria.

To contact the reporter on this story: Gbenga Akingbule in Maiduguri at gakingbule@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net

Bloomberg reserves the right to remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.