MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (Reuters) - Suspected members of Nigerian militant group Boko Haram have killed seven people in a market in Maiduguri, the police said on Thursday, the latest in almost daily killings in the restive northeast.
Boko Haram, an Islamist group which wants sharia law imposed more widely in Nigeria, has been unrelenting in its low level insurgency against President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.
The majority of attacks take place around Boko Haram’s home town of Maiduguri, the capital of remote Borno state which borders Chad, Niger and Cameroon.
“Seven traders were shot dead by gunmen suspected to be members of the Boko Haram on Wednesday. Three other civilians also sustained injury during the attack at Monday Market,” Borno police spokesman Samuel Tizhe said.
Borno government chairman, Wanangu Kachuwa, was assassinated by Boko Haram members in Maiduguri on Sunday. Hours later two policemen and a Boko Haram member were killed during a siege on a police station.
On Monday, a member of the state security service was shot dead while getting his hair cut in Maiduguri. Many of Boko Haram’s attacks target government or security personnel.
Nigerian forces have begun a harder crackdown in the city, carrying out house-to-house searches last week. Similar efforts in the past have triggered a backlash from Boko Haram.
Months of gun and bomb attacks blamed on the group have killed hundreds since it launched an uprising more than two years ago to try to carve out an Islamic state in Nigeria.
The country’s population of around 160 million is split roughly equally between a largely Muslim north and a mostly Christian south.