Suspected members of the Boko Haram militant Islamist group attacked a police compound in the northern Nigerian town of Azare in Bauchi State on Sunday, killing three people, local residents and an official said.
AFP - Bomb attacks by suspected Islamist militants Sunday left three people dead in northern Nigeria's Bauchi State, an official and residents said.
The suspected members of the radical Boko Haram sect, armed with heavy machine guns, threw explosives and fired into a police compound in the town of Azare, setting the buildings on fire, residents said.
"They came in a large convoy," resident Usman Musa told AFP, adding that the assailants hung a black banner at the entrance of the police station reading "Allahu Akbar" (God Is Great).
Musa said he saw the bodies of a soldier, a policeman and a police employee at a medical centre, where another two policemen were being treated for gunshot wounds.
The assailants also bombed and robbed two banks in the town, residents said.
Militants from Boko Haram, whose name means "Western Education Is Sin" in the regional Hausa language, have repeatedly targeted police and military, community and religious leaders, as well as politicians, in Nigeria.
The radical sect has also claimed responsibility for the August suicide bombing of the UN headquarters in the capital Abuja which killed at least 24 people and coordinated attacks in the country's northeast on November 4 that left some 150 people dead.
Another resident, Garba Mohammed, said the assailants bombed two banks and emptied the vaults, making off with the money.
Mohammed said unexploded bomb canisters littered the grounds and police kept onlookers away while an anti-bomb squad worked to make them safe.
Ishola Michael, spokesman to the Bauchi State governor, said state police commissioner Okechukwu Aduba had rushed to Azare.
Local reporters said two truckloads of soldiers had been sent to the scene as reinforcement.
Boko Haram, which wants Muslim Sharia law to be adopted across Nigeria, launched an uprising in 2009 put down by a brutal military assault that left hundreds dead.
It appeared to go dormant for about a year before re-emerging with a series of attacks.
In September 2010, the sect raided a prison in Bauchi, freeing more than 700 inmates, and claimed to be behind bomb attacks at a military barracks on May 29 when President Goodluck Jonathan was sworn in.
Sharia law is observed in 12 of Nigeria's 36 states, all of them in the mainly Muslim north.
Date created : 2011-12-04