Gunmen target Nigerian checkpoint

Suspected members of Islamist group Boko Haram opened fire on a checkpoint in northern Nigeria on Tuesday, with two police officers and a soldier feared dead, a police source and residents said.

The attack was the latest targeting police in Kano, Nigeria’s second-largest city and the biggest in the mainly Muslim north.

Previous such violence has also been attributed to Boko Haram and its increasingly bloody insurgency.

“I just heard that we lost two men and a soldier in an attack on a checkpoint,” a police source said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak publicly.

However, a spokesperson for a joint military-police task force in the city said two police officers and one of the attackers were killed, while a soldier was wounded.

Lieutenant Iweha Ikedichi also said the attackers were suspected members of Boko Haram.

Clear target
Residents initially reported that three police officers were killed, saying the gunmen arrived on motorcycles and opened fire on the checkpoint.

“The gunmen came on two motorbikes like ordinary motorcyclists, and when they approached the checkpoint, they drew guns from under their dress and opened fire on the police at the checkpoint,” one resident said.

“I saw three dead policemen and one passerby shot in the leg.”

The gunmen then fled and soldiers later arrived, taking over the area around the Gwammaja checkpoint, he said. Another resident gave a similar account.

Boko Haram has carried out scores of attacks mainly in northern Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation and largest oil producer.

Its deadliest attack yet occurred on January 20 in Kano, when coordinated bombings and shootings claimed left at least 185 lives. — AFP

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