Two Nigerian policemen and five attackers were killed in a midnight raid on a police station by suspected members of the Islamist sect Boko Haram in northeast Yobe state, the military said on Thursday.
The attack occurred less than a week after a bloody gun
battle between Islamist insurgents and joint military forces from
Nigeria, Chad and Niger in neighboring Borno state.
That clash may have been one of the deadliest since Boko Haram launched an uprising in 2009. The Nigerian Red Cross is checking reports from locals that 187 people died, although government officials have said this figure is inflated.
Boko Haram and other Islamist groups, such as the al
Qaeda-affiliated Ansaru, have become the greatest threat to security in
Africa's second largest economy and top oil producer.
"At about midnight Thursday ... gunmen suspected to be Boko Haram
terrorists attacked Joint Task Force location in Gashua town," spokesman
for the Yobe military force Eli Lazarus said.
police officers were killed in the attack while five of the suspected
terrorists lost their lives during the encounter."
Lazarus said a rocket-propelled grenade, several vehicles, guns and
ammunition had been recovered from the insurgents.
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan
is awaiting a report from a panel he set up to offer an amnesty to the
insurgents if they give up their struggle for an Islamic state.
Boko Haram has so far shown no interest in talks and two mediators have already pulled out.
The sect, which wants an Islamic state in a country
divided roughly equally between Christians and Muslims, has killed
hundreds of people in guerrilla-style attacks, mostly targeting security
forces in its northeastern stronghold.