Business, Finance & Economics

Nigerian forces kill 8 Boko Haram members

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A resident inspects a police van in Kano, Nigeria, on Jan. 25, 2012. The van was burnt in an attack on a police station the previous night by about 30 members of Boko Haram, wounding a policeman and killing one woman, according to residents.

Credit:

Aminu Abubakar

Nigerian security forces have killed eight members of the militant Islamist group, Boko Haram. 

According to UPI, witnesses claimed the deadly shootout also took the lives of several bystanders who were in the fish market in Maiduguri, where the shooting took place.

The Joint Task Force (JTF) asserts that there were no civilian casualties, however a Maiduguri hospital nurse told AFP, "The number of dead could not be less than 30." Reportedly the shootout lasted for 30 minutes. No JTF members were injured or killed. 

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Lt. Col. Hassan Mohammed, a spokesman for the Joint Task Force, told UPI,  "Large numbers of IEDs and other weapons [have] been recovered. The whole market has been cordoned off and we are currently searching the market to track down the fleeing [Boko Haram] members." 

An unnamed source told AllAfrica.com, the attack was in retaliation to last Tuesday's arrest of one of its members. "The sect members were believed to have attacked the traders in the market following last Thursday's arrest of one of their members who entered the market to kill a trader but was overpowered and beaten and handed over to men of the JTF."

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The Boko Haram is a terrorist group based in northeast Nigeria whose name means, "Western education is a sin." According to CNN, "Depending on the faction, the group's ambitions range from the stricter enforcement of Shariah law — which is derived from the Koran as the 'word of God' — across the predominantly Muslim north of Nigeria, to the total destruction of the Nigerian state and its government."