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Nigerian Islamists threaten attacks on northern city

KANO, Nigeria; From AFP and The Nation

 Islamist sect Boko Haram on Saturday threatened to launch attacks on northern Nigeria's largest city of Kano if the security services continue to arrest its members.

Sect leader Abubakar Shekau claimed in the letter sent to the state government and the media that Boko Haram members have been arrested over the past five months on the pretext that they were thieves and armed robbers. "We are therefore compelled to write this letter to inform Kano residents of this development so that when we launch attacks in the city as we have been doing in Maiduguri, they should not blame us,"

Gunmen on Thursday attacked a military-run school outside the city, killing at least three air force personnel. Gunmen suspected to be members of the militant Boko Haram sect have killed three Air Force officers and injured one other in Kano.

They attacked the four officers on guard in an attempt to gain entry into the premises, ostensibly to massacre the JSS 1 students in the hostel. The four officers were said to have resisted the gunmen, who however, overpowered them, killing two on the spot and inflicting heavy injuries on two others, one of whom later died at the Eemergency Ward of the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano

The gunmen, numbering about 15, were said to have stormed the Nigerian Air Force Comprehensive Secondary School located in the village of Kwa, along Kano-Katsina Road, where a heavy exchange of gunfire ensued.

And on Friday, gunmen opened fire on a police checkpoint on the outskirts of the city, resulting in a shootout which left one policeman dead and another seriously wounded, Kano state police spokesman Magaji Majia told AFP. The Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Magaji Majia Musa, who confirmed the incident, said the mobile police officer, Sergeant Alhassan Sefiyanu, was shot by some gunmen at about 6 am yesterday.

Musa said: “The police officer saw three men who pretended to be in distress, and in his attempt to assist them got shot by the suspects, who took to their heels immediately. So far, no arrest has been made. But investigation is on to ensure their arrest.”

Meanwhile in Jos, the plateau city at the edge of Islamic expansion, also from AFP.

Fliers threatening bombings of churches and other areas have been posted in the Nigerian city of Jos, where Christmas Eve 2010 attacks and reprisals killed dozens, authorities said Friday.

A number of fliers were found on the ground in the city, which has long been hit by waves of clashes between Christian and Muslim ethnic groups that have left thousands dead. The pamphlet signed by someone named Idris Musa and written in poor English listed some 21 targets in the planned attacks.

"We entire Muslim of Plateau State will never give up until we have our right ... Nothing can stop us from bombing these areas before December 26, 2011,"

A spokesman for a military task force in Plateau said authorities were taking the threats seriously. "There is a pamphlet in circulation threatening to attack some targets, including churches, private businesses and government institutions in Jos between now and December 26," Charles Okeocha told AFP. "As security agents, we are not taking the threat lightly. We have beefed up security to avoid any unpleasant situation."



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