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Suspected Nigeria Islamists Kill 18 Hunters in Northeast

Jan. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Suspected Nigerian Islamist militants killed 18 people in a northeastern town for hunting animals forbidden by Islam, a local official said.

Gunmen killed 13 people at a local market in Damboa while five others died later in the hospital from their injuries, Abba Ahmed, district head of the area, told Borno state Deputy Governor Alhaji Zanna Mustapha, who visited the town with reporters.

“The 18 victims were local hunters who engage in killing monkeys and pigs, animals forbidden by Islam which they sell at the market,” said Ahmed. The gunmen “came to the market in a Volkswagen Golf car and hurriedly carried out the attack.”

Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer and most populous nation, is battling an insurgency by Boko Haram that has killed hundreds of people since 2009. The group, which wants to establish an Islamic state in Nigeria, has carried out bomb and gun attacks in the mainly Muslim north and Abuja. Nigeria’s more than 160 million people are almost evenly split between the north and a largely Christian south.

In the northern city of Kano, unidentified attackers killed three people and injured two others when they opened fire yesterday on people near a bus stop, Ikedichi Iweha, a spokesman for the joint military task force in Kano state, said.

To contact the reporters on this story: Gbenga Akingbule in Maiduguri at gakingbule@bloomberg.net; Edwin Olofu in Kano at eolofu@bloomberg.net

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

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