Nigerian forces raid Islamist base in Kano, 1 killed

Tue May 1, 2012 1:25pm GMT

By Bala Adamu

KANO, Nigeria (Reuters) - Nigerian forces raided the hideout of Islamist militants in Kano on Tuesday, killing the suspected mastermind of an attack on Christian worshippers, in a gun battle that lasted several hours in the main northern city.

The raid followed a spate of attacks in the past days, believed to be by Islamist sect Boko Haram, which killed 30 people and dampened hopes that tighter security in the north had drastically reduced the sect's capability.

Residents of the Bubugaje slum area of Kano awoke to several loud explosions and the sound of gunfire.

"It is really terrifying ... everyone is indoors," said Anthonia Okafor, a student at Kano university.

Hundreds have died in violence across the north and in the capital Abuja since the Islamists launched their uprising in 2009, targeting authorities, security forces and more recently the north's Christian minority.

"Our men just raided one of the hideouts of the elements ... where we discovered explosives and weapons," said Lieutenant Iweha Ikedichi, a spokesman for the Joint Task Force (JTF) in Kano, Nigeria's second biggest city.

"The main suspect has been killed," he added, referring to the suspected mastermind of an attack on a university in Kano on Sunday, when gunmen sprayed bullets in a lecture theatre being used for Christian worship.

That attack and another one on Sunday against a church in northeast Maiduguri, Boko Haram's spiritual headquarters, killed 19 people between them. ID:nL5E8FU2LH]   Continued...

A machine gun is seen on an armoured vehicle in front of Bayero University in Nigeria's northern city of Kano April 29, 2012. REUTERS/Stringer
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