Seven killed as armed group attacks police station, bank, in Kankara, Katsina State

On 20 June, an armed group attacked a police station and a bank simultaneously, killing seven people including five policemen, in Kankara, Katsina State.

Local sources say members of the group, numbering about 10, were armed with AK-47 rifles and explosives, and clad in long robes. It was further reported that they wore beards and shouted “Allahu Akbar (God is greatest)”, throughout the operation.

They say as the group got close to the divisional police station, its members split into two units. One unit attacked the station, killing three policemen including the Divisional Crime Officer (DCO) and freeing suspected criminals who were detained in cells at the station, pending their arraignment in court. They then looted arms and ammunition from the station, and threw an explosive inside before fleeing. The witnesses say the explosion that followed reduced the station to rubble with the bodies of three uniformed policemen lying among the ruins.

The second group stormed the nearby Bank PHB, shooting two policemen and a bank security guard to death. They then blew up the bank’s door with an explosive, which enabled them to gain entry and cart away an unknown amount of cash.

The sources further report that a man who attempted to pick up a bundle of the stolen cash which fell off from the attackers’ loot was shot by the fleeing gunmen, and later died in hospital.

The gunmen were said to have escaped in two vehicles, one speeding down the Kankara-Shema road, the other fleeing through the Kankara-Katsina road.

The gunmen are suspected to have been members of the militant Islamist sect, popularly referred to as Boko Haram.

Boko Haram, which means “Western education is sin”, has been demanding more comprehensive and stricter implementation of Islamic Sharia law, adopted by 12 states in northern Nigeria between 1999 and 2001. In July 2009, it launched an uprising which was firmly quelled by security forces with over 800 persons, mostly sect members, killed.

Since mid-2010, it has waged a campaign of serial assassinations and bombings, targeting security personnel and politicians, clerics and community leaders. Until recently, those attacks were concentrated in Borno and, to a lesser degree, Bauchi State. But on 16 June, its suicide bomber set off a bomb at the national police headquarters in Abuja, killing at least two people and destroying a large number of vehicles.

This is the group’s first attack in Katsina State. It may also be a first demontration of the notice it served on 15 June, that it will be carrying out wider and firecer attacks in other parts of northern Nigeria.





Posted on June 21, 2011, in MAJOR CRIME, NIGERIA POLICE FORCE, NORTHERN VIOLENCE and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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