[QODLink]
Africa

Gunmen stage deadly attack on Nigeria market

Men suspected to be members of Boko Haram storm town of Gajiran in Borno state, killing at least 15, residents say.

Last Modified: 05 Sep 2013 20:00
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

Gunmen suspected to be members of the armed Boko Haram group have stormed the northeast Nigerian town of Gajiran, opening fire in a market and killing 15 people, the AFP news agency reported.

Borno state in the northeast, where the latest violence occurred, is a Boko Haram stronghold and has seen a spate of similar attacks on locals in recent weeks.

Residents of Gajiran, speaking to journalists in the state capital Maiduguri, said the gunmen involved in Thursday's attack pretended to be traders attending a local market.

"Some of them came aboard trucks while others came on foot to beat the security checks at the entrance of the town," resident Ibrahim Bulama said.

They then "blended among traders conducting business", before opening fire in the market, killing 15 people, he told reporters.

They also set fire to a local government building and a police post, he said.

Aisami Yusuf, another local speaking to journalists in Maiduguri, also put the death toll at 15 and provided a similar account.

Gajiran is roughly 85km from the state capital.

Continuing campaign

There has been no mobile phone service in Borno since the middle of May, when Nigeria declared a state of emergency across most of the northeast and launched an offensive aimed at crushing Boko Haram's fight against the state.

Details of attacks have been difficult to verify, with area police and military officers unreachable by phone.

The military has said it switched off the phones to block the group from coordinating attacks.

Last month, armed men dressed as soldiers opened fire on worshippers leaving a mosque in the far northeastern village of Dumba, killing at least 35 people.

Separately, on August 10 and 11, suspected Boko Haram members stormed a mosque in Konduga and shot dead 44 worshippers as well as 12 other people in a nearby village in another area of the northeast.

Boko Haram's campaign against the state has left more than 3,600 dead since 2009, including killings by the security forces, who have been accused of major abuses.

The group has claimed to be fighting for the creation of an Islamic state in Africa's most populous nation and largest oil producer, though it is believed to have a number of factions with varying aims.

375

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Your chance to be an investigative journalist in Al Jazeera’s new interactive game.
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Featured
Indonesia's cassava plantations are being killed by mealybugs, and thousands of wasps have been released to stop them.
Violence in Ain al-Arab has prompted many Kurdish Syrians to flee to Turkey, but others are returning to battle ISIL.
Unelected representatives quietly iron out logistics of massive TPP and TTIP deals among US, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.
Led by students concerned for their future with 'nothing to lose', it remains to be seen who will blink first.
Taipei has sided with Hong Kong's pro-democracy protesters as relations with Beijing continue downward spiral.