MAIDUGURI (AFP) – Gunmen suspected to be members of the radical Boko Haram sect on Saturday shot dead a television journalist in the northern Nigerian city of Maiduguri, witnesses said.
Zakariyya Isa, a reporter with the state-run Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), was shot dead around 7:30 pm in front of his house in Bulunkutu area of the city shortly after leaving the mosque, witness Malam Musa Jafaru told AFP.
“We just finished Ishai (Moslem) prayer and he left us,” he said.
“Then after some few minutes we heard a loud sound and when we came out we saw Zakariyya in front of his house in a pool of his blood.”
He said the gunmen had trailed the reporter, who was a popular Hausa translator and newscaster with the Maiduguri office of NTA, to his house, a few metres from the mosque before opening fire on him.
Muhammed Musa, a manager with NTA, said: “I was called and told that one of my employees had been shot dead.”
The attack happened in the northern city of Maiduguri, which has been hit by a string of deadly bomb and gun attacks attributed to Boko Haram.
While most of its attacks have occurred in Nigeria’s northeast, Boko Haram also claimed responsibility for the August 26 bomb blast at UN headquarters in Abuja that killed at least 23 people.
Saturday’s killing was the first of its kind targeting journalists in the violence-wracked city.
Although no group has claimed responsibility for the killing, last month, Boko Haram threatened in a statement in Maiduguri to attack media organisations, particularly some foreign media, over what it described as misrepresentation of its activities in the country.
Boko Haram has claimed to be fighting for the establishment of an Islamic state in Nigeria, whose 150 million population is roughly divided in half between Christians and Muslims.
The sect launched an uprising in 2009 put down by a military assault which left hundreds dead, as well as its mosque and headquarters in Maiduguri in ruins.