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Africa

Dozens are killed in clashes between Islamists and police

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2009-12-28

At least 38 people have been killed in fighting between joint military-police forces and suspected members of an Islamist sect in the northern Nigerian city of Bauchi.

AFP - Thirty-eight people were killed Monday in clashes between joint military-police forces and suspected members of an Islamist sect in the northern Nigerian city of Bauchi, police said.

Bauchi State police chief Atikur Kafur said: "All in all, 38 people were killed including a soldier and two innocent neighbours. Among those killed is the leader of the sect," identifying him simply as Malam Badamasi.

"We made 20 arrests, including nine adults and 11 juveniles, while 14 were injured," he told journalists.

A Nigerian Red Cross official earlier gave AFP a death toll of 33 in the fighting in the Zango district of the city, most of the victims suspected sect members.

Security agents recovered in the premises of the sect leader, "bomb-making tools and explosivers, two AK47 rifles with several rounds of ammunition," Kafur said.

A large quantity of swords, daggers and gun powder was also recovered, he added.

Two residents in Bauchi early Monday told AFP that they saw four corpses -- two soldiers and a policemen in uniform and another person in ordinary clothing -- lying on the streets in the troubled Zango district.

One of the residents, Adamu Shehu, said they were killed in separate attacks by members of the radical Islamic sect as they were passing through Zango district.

"Members of the group had a fiery preaching session yesterday night during which they attacked government and Western education," Shehu said.

In July at least 800 people were killed when security forces crushed an uprising in Bauchi, Kano, Yobe and Borno states in the Muslim-dominated north of Nigeria by members of another radical sect, Boko Haram.

Kala-Kato, also known as Maitatsine, is a radical Islamist sect existing in several parts of northern Nigeria for decades.

A religious uprising triggered by its members in 1980 in the northern city of Kano and in Yola in 1992, claimed thousands of lives.

The former leader of the Maitatsine sect, Mohammed Marwa Maitatsine, an Islamic scholar who originated from neighbouring Cameroun and later settled in Kano, was killed by security forces in December 1980.
 

Date created : 2009-12-29

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