Nigerian Muslim Sect Kills Cleric

Posted August 13th, 2011 at 5:40 pm (UTC-5)
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Police in Nigeria say suspected members of a radical Islamist group have shot dead a prominent Muslim cleric in the country's northeast.

Police said Saturday the 65 year-old cleric, Liman Bana, was killed Friday night after evening prayers in the town of Ngala.

Officials say the gunmen traveled on motorcycles and sped away after the attack.

They blame the killing on the Boko Haram group, which has carried out a long series of attacks, mostly in northeastern Nigeria. The group is believed to be responsible for attacks on police, politicians, community leaders and religious figures.

Boko Haram has called for sharia, or Islamic law, to be applied more widely and strictly across Nigeria.

It launched a violent uprising in July 2009 that was crushed by the Nigerian military. Since then, the group has targeted authority figures in shootings and carried out numerous bombings, mostly in the northeastern city of Maiduguri.