Suspected Islamist Gunmen Kill 8 in Northern Nigeria

Posted January 11th, 2012 at 1:40 am (UTC-5)
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Police in northern Nigeria say suspected members of a radical Islamist sect have shot dead eight people, including four police officers.

The attack happened late Tuesday at a bar in the town of Potiskum in Yobe state, and authorities blamed the killings on Boko Haram.

The fundamentalist Islamic group has threatened to kill Christians in Muslim-majority northern Nigeria as it seeks to turn the country into an Islamic state.

Boko Haram is held responsible for hundreds of deaths in the past year, including the Christmas Day bombings of several churches and the August attack on a United Nations office in Abuja that killed 25.

Also Tuesday, an angry mob attacked a mosque and a school in the southern city of Benin. The Nigerian Red Cross said five people were killed, and an official said the attacks were linked to the tension between Muslims and Christians.

President Goodluck Jonathan recently declared a state of emergency in 15 locations across northern Nigeria as part of a campaign to subdue Boko Haram.

The president has also deployed extra troops to the north, but attacks have continued.