KANO (AFP) – A girl and a policeman died in an attack in Bauchi Monday which the army blamed on the Islamist insurgent group Boko Haram.
The attack at the home of a Muslim cleric in Darazo, Bauchi state, was the first attributed to the extremist separatists since the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
“The gunmen came on motorcycles and headed straight to the home of the cleric and opened fire indiscriminately, killing a girl and a policeman living in the area,” local resident Baffale Sanusi told AFP by telephone.
A military source confirmed the deaths and said two more people were wounded in the attack which took place at the time of Muslim evening prayers.
“We have received reports of shootings in Darazo this evening and we have mobilised troops from nearby military to the town to deal with the situation,” a senior military source in Bauchi told AFP.
“We strongly suspect Boko Haram gunmen are behind the shootings,” the source said.
Another local resident, Umar Mato, said the streets were deserted after the attack as soldiers “laid siege on the town looking for the gunmen”.
Roughly translated, Boko Haram means “Western education is sin,” and the insurgents have been blamed for previous raids on schools, with some analysts suggesting the group has selected shocking targets to generate attention.
Boko Haram has said it is fighting to create an Islamic state in Nigeria’s mainly Muslim north.