Islamists kill senior Nigerian police officer

February 2, 2011 12:00 am

, KANO, Feb 2 – Gunmen suspected to be members of an Islamist sect killed a senior police officer Tuesday and badly wounded his young daughter, the latest such attack in northern Nigeria, authorities said.

Police in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state, said the officer overseeing police patrols in the city must have been trailed by his attackers since he was off duty and in civilian clothes.

"The assailants opened fire on his car, killing him on the spot and critically injuring his young daughter who was with him," police spokesman Lawal Abdullahi said.

"This attack, as far as we are concerned, was carried out by Boko Haram (sect) members who have been targeting security agencies, particularly the police."

At least seven other people have died in similar attacks over the past five days.

Authorities blame the sect known as Boko Haram, which launched an uprising in 2009 for a stricter application of Islamic Sharia law, for a wave of killings targeting security forces and prominent government and community leaders.

Security sources count more than 80 killings in hit-and-run attacks in Maiduguri in recent months.

A checkpoint gunbattle with police on Sunday left two sect members and one policeman dead.

Motorcycle-riding gunmen shot dead a leading candidate for governor and six others in the same city after last Friday\’s Muslim prayers in a suspected political assassination.

Police have said politics may also be behind some of the other attacks in the run up to April general elections.


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