Nigeria cops, Boko clash - 11 dead

2012-04-01 19:26

Lagos - Nigerian troops have clashed with suspected members of Islamist group Boko Haram in a raid on an alleged hideout, leaving 11 dead, including a soldier and policeman, an official and local media said on Sunday.

The clash occurred on Saturday in the Okene district of Kogi state, located in central Nigeria, after soldiers and police sought to raid the alleged hideout, said Jacob Edi, a spokesperson for the state governor.

"There were some skirmishes between some hoodlums and the military," Edi told AFP. "There are unconfirmed reports that some of them may be Boko Haram... A military person was confirmed dead and a [secret police] person."

He could not say how many of the assailants were killed, though local media reported nine were dead and identified them as suspected Boko Haram members. Authorities were still searching for those who escaped, he said.

Edi said the raid occurred because soldiers wanted to defuse explosives said to be at the building, though local media gave varying accounts.

One report said the raid followed the discovery last week of an alleged bomb-making factory in another town in Kogi.

Military and secret police officials did not respond to requests for comment.

Boko Haram has carried out scores of attacks, mainly in northern Nigeria, though occasionally in other regions of Africa's most populous nation and largest oil producer.

An alleged high-ranking member of the group arrested several weeks ago was said to be from Kogi state, located in the country's middle belt region between the mainly Muslim north and predominantly Christian south.

Read more on:    boko haram  |  nigeria  |  west africa

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