Boko Haram, the Islamist militant group fighting to impose strict Islamic rule in Nigeria, denied involvement in the killing of one the country’s retired army generals two days ago.
Suspects shot Muhammadu Shuwa, a retired major general at his home in Maiduguri, capital of northeastern Borno state, killing him and one of his guests, Sagir Musa, spokesman for the Joint Military Task Force in the state, said in a statement to reporters on Nov. 2. The attackers entered the house as Shuwa was hosting guests before the Friday prayers and opened fire, he said. The guest died immediately and Shuwa died on his way to the hospital, he said.
“We have no hands in the killing of Gen Shuwa,” Mohammed Ibn Abdulaziz, a spokesman for the group, said by phone today from Maiduguri. “ We didn’t have problem with the man,” he said. The attack came a day after Abdulaziz said the group is ready to start talks with the Nigerian government.
Boko Haram is seeking to impose strict Islamic law on Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer. Its insurgency began after its leader, Mohammed Yusuf, was killed while in police custody in 2009. Since then the group has carried out attacks in the mainly Muslim north and the capital, Abuja, that have killed more than 1,500 people, according to Human Rights Watch.