An attack by a suspected radical Muslim sect was made against a northeast Nigerian customs office Monday (June 27) afternoon.
The assault included blasts and gunfire, leaving at least three people dead and at least two customs officials wounded. Reported by NY Times, commander of a task force Maj. Gen. Jack Okechukwu Nwaogbo stated that Monday afternoon’s attack hit the customs office as officials inside held a meeting.
“What caused the killings of many people in the attacks were when about 10 gunmen riding seven motorcycles surrounded and took strategic positions at the beer sheds and shops and started firing at the people with their Kalashnikov rifles, before setting ablaze the entire makeshift shacks,” Nwaogbo said.
Authorities quickly pointed the finger at a group locally known as Boko Haram, which also had been blamed for an attack Sunday night that left at least 25 people dead at local beer parlors in Nigeria’s Muslim north. The group is said to want strict Shariah law implemented across the region, which is the code of conduct or religious law of Islam.
Boko Haram, meaning “Western education is sacrilege” in the local Hausa language, is responsible for a rash of killings which have targeted police officers, soldiers, politicians and clerics in Nigeria’s north over the last year, including attacks on local beer parlors. They have also attacked churches and engineered a massive prison break.
However, authorities say attacks intensified after April 26 gubernatorial elections kept the same political party in power. Thought their reign was said to be destroyed in 2009, the group has been carrying out a series of attacks, including a bombing earlier this month that the national police headquarters in Nigeria’s capital Abuja that killed at least two people.
No arrests have been made over the beer parlor attacks but Nwaogbo said police arrested two men carrying explosives at a Christian church in the city as they pretended interest in converting from Islam.
Police and military checkpoints now lace the city on the edge of the Sahara Desert at night. The checkpoints will no longer require passers-by on motorcycles to get off their rides and walk some 55 yards with their hands above their heads. —Shabazz