January 4, 2012

Gunmen kill one in Jigawa police station attack

(AFP) – Gunmen have attacked a police station in Jigawa state, killing a teenage girl and wounding an officer in the first such incident since the president’s state of emergency decree.

“The gunmen shot indiscriminately into the police station and engaged our men in a shootout, killing a teenage girl trying to flee and wounding a policeman,” Jigawa state police commissioner Hashimu Argungu said of the attack late Tuesday.

“They threw an explosive into the police station but it did not detonate, which saved the police station from being destroyed, although its walls were riddled with bullets from the attack.”

Argungu said an investigation was ongoing and he could not yet say who was behind the attack. Scores of such attacks in Nigeria’s north have been blamed on Islamist group Boko Haram.

President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency last weekend in parts of four states hard hit by attacks blamed on Boko Haram.

The decree included parts of Yobe state, which neighbours Jigawa, as well as areas of Borno, Niger and Plateau states.

Some have expressed fears that Boko Haram would shift its attacks to areas not affected by the state of emergency. Tuesday night’s attack targeted a divisional police station in the town of Birniwa on the border with Yobe.

Jonathan’s declaration came in response to scores of attacks attributed to the group, particularly bombings at Christmas that killed 49 people, most of them in a gruesome blast at a Catholic church as services were ending.