KANO (AFP) – Gunmen shot dead two men near a community centre showing soccer matches in northern Nigeria, days after the Islamist group Boko Haram reportedly called for such places to be closed, residents said Friday.
The killing late Thursday in Potiskum came three days after leaflets, said to be from Boko Haram, were circulated there warning people to stay away from such viewing centres, forcing some to shut down, residents told AFP.
It was not clear why the Islamists would seek their closure since such centres in the country’s mainly Muslim north typically do not serve alcohol.
“Two gunmen knocked on the door of one of the victims who lived next door from a soccer viewing centre in Roseline neighbourhood around 8:30 pm and shot him dead as soon as he stepped out of the house,” one resident said.
“The gunmen then turned and shot another person standing nearby listening to a group of soccer fans discussing previous … matches outside the soccer viewing centre.”
Another resident who gave a similar account said the crowd of soccer fans then fled.
A police spokesman said he had not been notified of the incident
Such viewing centres are popular throughout Nigeria, providing residents with a place to watch European football matches on satellite television.