February 13, 2012
Nigeria’s army killed 12 suspected Islamist militants in a gun battle late yesterday, the military said, as Taliban-inspired Boko Haram threatened to attack phone service providers for cooperating with authorities.
Two soldiers were injured when Boko Haram suspects opened fire on a military patrol in the northeastern city of Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state, Hassan Mohammed, a spokesman for the military’s joint task force said today by phone from the city.
A person identifying himself as Boko Haram’s spokesman said today his group killed 12 soldiers in the gunfight. Boko Haram will step up its attacks to target phone service providers in Nigeria for cooperating with the authorities, allowing security agencies to track them down, Abu Qaqa, the purported spokesman who uses a voice-alteration device,said today by phone to reporters in the city before the military statement was issued.
Authorities in Africa’s top oil producer blame Boko Haram, which calls for the imposition of Shariah law in Nigeria, for bomb and gun attacks in northern Nigeria and the capital Abuja since 2009.
Boko Haram, whose name means “Western education is a sin,” claimed responsibility for multiple blasts and attacks in the northern city of Kano on Jan. 20, killing at least 256 people, according to the rights group Civil Rights Congress.
The group also vowed to attack the Nigerian Communications Commission, the regulatory authority for the telecommunications industry in the West African country.