Damboa, Nigeria: at least 18 killed in believed Islamist-led attack


A soldier stands guard as Nigerian troops arrive at the airport in Bamako on January 17, 2013.



Gunmen attacked the Nigerian town of Damboa late Monday, killing at least 18 people, according to Reuters, citing local officials. 

BBC News, however, listed at lest 12 dead in the assault on the northeastern town, with officials saying the incident was believed led by Islamists. 

Journalists were told the attackers were believed angered by hunters selling bush meat, a food forbidden under Islam, said Reuters

Also today, Nigerian officials said they expect to a rise in extremist violence in response to an anti-insurgent offensive under way in nearby Mali, according to Bloomberg. Nigeria has sent 1,200 soldiers to help with the French-led campaign. 

“If they’re part of al-Qaeda in the Maghreb, if they’re in support of the northern Mali crisis, there’s every possibility that they will heighten their attacks [in Nigeria],” the country's defense ministry information director Colonel Mohammed Yerima told Bloomberg. “On our own side, we’re strategizing how to counter them.”

Hundreds of Nigerians have been killed in attacks championed by Boko Haram Islamists over the past five years, reported Bloomberg