UPDATE 1-Nigeria police arrest 14 after deadly shootout with sect

Mon Dec 19, 2011 6:43pm GMT

* Seven die in shootout in northern Nigeria's Kano

* Bomb factory explodes in Damaturu, three wounded

* President Jonathan sets up joint patrol with Chad's Deby (Adds bomb factory explosion)

By Mike Oboh

KANO, Dec 19 (Reuters) - Nigerian police have arrested 14 suspected members of an Islamist sect and seized explosives after a gun battle left four militants and three policemen dead in the northern city of Kano over the weekend, the local police commissioner said.

In a separate incident On Monday, a huge blast shook the northern city of Damaturu when a bomb-making factory exploded, wounding three militants, the police commissioner for Yobe state said, underscoring how Islamist militants who used to be confined to northeastern Borno now operate throughout the north.

Last week, daily gun and bomb attacks in various parts of the north killed at least seven people.

Militant group Boko Haram is waging a low level insurgency, which used to be largely confined to Nigeria's remote northeast Borno state, but this year has increasingly plagued other parts of the north and the capital, Abuja.

Describing Saturday's shootout in Kano, police commissioner Ibrahim Idris told journalists late on Sunday:   Continued...

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