MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (Reuters) - Suspected militants from the Boko Haram Islamist sect have killed six people in shootings in Nigeria’s remote northeastern Borno state in the past two days, the local military field operations officer said on Tuesday.
“Two Airforce personnel and two civilians were shot dead in Gomari ward, another was shot dead at the market today while the sixth person was shot dead in front of a mosque in Gamboru-Ngala, a border town with Cameroon, yesterday night,” Colonel Victor Ebhamele, Borno field operations officer, told Reuters.
Boko Haram are waging an increasingly deadly low intensity campaign against the government, and have been blamed for dozens of bombings and shootings in the northern semi-desert regions of Africa’s biggest oil producer.
The group, whose name translates as “Western education is sinful”, is loosely modeled on the Taliban and based largely in the northeastern city of Maiduguri, capital of Borno state.
Its shadowy members say they are fighting to impose sharia or Islamic law across Nigeria, a country of 160 million split roughly evenly between Christians and Muslims.
A series of gun and bomb attacks, mostly on police stations, killed 186 people in Nigeria’s second biggest city of Kano on January 20, prompting President Goodluck Jonathan to visit the wounded and promise to stamp out terrorism.
Ebhamele said on Saturday that troops had killed 11 suspected Boko Haram insurgents earlier that day during a gun battle at a checkpoint in Maiduguri.