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Nigeria’s Islamists increase attacks

Boko Haram continues a series of bloody bomb and gun attacks in northern Nigeria targeting security forces, the latest killing 25 people in the northern city of Maiduguri
Nigeria boko haram bomb 2011 06 27Enlarge
Maiduguri in northern Nigeria has emerged as the heartland of the Islamist sect Boko Haram which killed 25 people in a bomb attack on a beer garden in the city on Sunday evening. (Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP/Getty Images)

The latest in a series of killings blamed on an Islamist sect has claimed at least 25 lives when men on motorbikes tossed bombs and fired guns into a busy beer garden in the northern city of Maiduguri.

The attack follows the first suspected suicide attack ever in Nigeria earlier this month when a car packed with explosives was detonated by its driver outside the police headquarters in the capital Abuja on 16 June.

The bombings are being blamed on Boko Haram, an Islamist group that wants to establish an Islamic state in Nigeria and is violently opposed to the security forces that have cracked-down brutally on the group in the past.

The group’s name can be translated as ‘Western education is forbidden’.

In 2009 the then leader of Boko Haram, Mohammed Yusuf, was executed while in police custody – they say he was trying to escape but most others beg to differ – hundreds of his supporters were also killed in battles with security forces and his mosque was destroyed by tank fire.

The police claimed victory but Boko Haram has come back to haunt them, and the government.

A security source in Maiduguri said two attackers on motorbikes had driven past the bar late on Sunday evening.

"The attackers, believed to be Boko Haram members, threw bombs and fired indiscriminate gun shots on a packed tavern at Dala Kabompi neighbourhood, killing at least 25 people and seriously injuring around 30 others," a police superintendent said.

In late May Boko Haram claimed responsibility for a similar style attack on a pub inside the military barracks in Bauchi city that killed more than a dozen people just hours after the inauguration of President Goodluck Jonathan.’s-islamists-increase-attacks