Gunmen from extremist sect Boko Haram have killed at least seven civilians in the past 24 hours in a spate of attacks in northern Nigeria, police said on Thursday.
Boko Haram, which wants to carve an Islamic state out of Africa’s most populous nation split evenly between Muslims and Christians, has killed hundreds in almost daily gun and bomb attacks this year.
“A water vendor and a customs officer were killed in Abbaganaram and Kasuwan custom areas on Wednesday in the evening, while five bakers were killed at the Kasmi Bakery on Thursday,” Samuel Tizhe, spokesperson for police in the sect’s north-east heartland of Maiduguri, said.
A military offensive against Boko Haram seems to have weakened the sect in the past few weeks, making it less capable of carrying out high-profile attacks with large casualty tolls, but it remains a major security headache for Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.
A bomb near a church in north city Kaduna on Easter Sunday killed more than 30 people.
This week, the US embassy in Nigeria warned its citizens that the group might be planning attacks on the capital Abuja, which Nigerian authorities quickly dismissed as alarmist.
The group has struck the capital a few times, but its attacks are mostly concentrated in the largely Muslim north. — Reuters