'Islamists' bomb Nigerian police station

2012-03-29 09:23
Kano - Suspected members of Islamist group Boko Haram bombed a police station in north-eastern Nigeria late on Wednesday, setting it ablaze in the latest of scores of such attacks, police said.

Gunmen stormed the station in the town of Damagun in Yobe state, though it was unclear if there were casualties.

"A group of suspected members of Boko Haram attacked the Damagun police station, where they detonated explosives that set the station on fire," Yobe police spokesperson Gbagesin Toyin told AFP.

"We are yet to ascertain if there were any casualties," he added.

One resident said what appeared to be a large crowd of attackers were shouting "Allahu Akbar" as they stormed the building.

Another resident said the gunmen engaged the police in a shootout before hurling explosives into the station.

"They have burnt down the police station and shut down the highway ... Everybody is indoors," the resident said.

Meanwhile two gunmen shot dead a police inspector in Maiduguri, in neighbouring Borno state, a police spokesperson said.

He was killed while shopping in the city's Gamboru market, Borno state police spokesman Samuel Tizhe said.

Door-to-door searches

Maiduguri has long been considered Boko Haram's base and the city has been repeatedly targeted for its attacks.

Tizhe said police in Maiduguri had announced financial rewards for residents providing information leading to the arrest of Boko Haram members or the recovery of illegal arms.

"The police have promised 500 000 naira ($3 125) for information that leads to the arrest of Boko Haram Islamists and a reward in like sum on information leading to the recovery of arms," Tizhe said.

A military task force in Borno state has been carrying out door-to-door searches in a bid to crack down on Boko Haram.

The Islamist group has been blamed for scores of attacks, mainly in Nigeria's north. A bid to hold indirect talks between the government and Boko Haram in recent weeks appears to have broken down.

Read more on:    boko haram  |  nigeria  |  west africa

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