Reuters top ten news stories delivered to your inbox each day.
You are here:
Business & Finance
The Great Debate
Do More With Reuters
Make Reuters My Homepage
Support (Customer Zone)
About Thomson Reuters
Nigeria hunts Islamic sect, women and children freed
Wed Jul 29, 2009 10:52am EDT
Email | Print |
| Reprints | Single Page
By Ibrahim Mshelizza
MAIDUGURI (Reuters) - Security forces in northern Nigeria have freed nearly 200 women and children during a crackdown on a radical Islamic sect responsible for violence that has killed at least 150 people.
Soldiers in armored personnel carriers surrounded and shelled parts of a compound that is home to Mohammed Yusuf, the leader of the radical Boko Haram sect, in the city of Maiduguri, destroying buildings including a small mosque.
The preacher's whereabouts were unknown. Joint military and armed police patrols went from house to house searching for his followers, arresting more than 100 people.
Police said they had freed 180 women and children whose husbands and fathers were among Yusuf's followers. Members of the sect say their wives should not be seen by other men and that their children should receive only a Koranic education.
"The soldiers and police are now combing the whole city of Maiduguri, going house to house searching for followers of the Boko Haram," Maiduguri resident Adamu Yari told Reuters.
"Hundreds of the members have been arrested," he said, adding that the sound of military bombardments from the area around Yusuf's compound had continued throughout the night.
Police in Kano, 500 km (310 miles) further west, said they had arrested 53 Boko Haram followers including the second in command in the state and said they were under orders to destroy the local leader's home and mosque.
They said the men had been found with home-made guns and explosives and were believed to be planning attacks. Arrests have also been made in Sokoto, in the far northwest.
President Umaru Yar'Adua has ordered the security forces to take all necessary action and warned that the leader of the group wants to declare a "fully fledged holy war."
"These people have been organized and are penetrating our society and procuring arms and gathering information on how to make explosions and bombs to force their view on the rest of Nigerians," Yar'Adua said.
"We are going to continue with security surveillance all over the northern states and fish out any remnant of this group and deal with them promptly."
Modeled ON THE TALIBAN
The violence erupted when members of Boko Haram, which wants a wider adoption of Islamic sharia law across Africa's most populous nation, were arrested on Sunday in Bauchi state on suspicion of planning an attack on a police station.
Yusuf's supporters -- armed with machetes, knives, home-made hunting rifles and petrol bombs -- have since attacked churches, police stations, prisons and government buildings in four states across the mostly Muslim north.
Police in Maiduguri have said 90 of the rioters have been killed as well as eight police officers, three prison officials and two soldiers. More than 50 people were killed in the initial violence in Bauchi and several more have died in Kano and Yobe. Continued...
View article on single page
Moldovan Communists face liberal challenge in poll
also on reuters
Blog: Obama to engage in beer diplomacy
Sunbeds join cigarettes, arsenic as top cancer threat
Video: Video games slide amid recession
More International News
Car bomb injures 46 at Spain barracks; ETA blamed
Gates, in Iraq, seeks to ease Kurd-Arab tensions
India PM defends move to improve ties with Pakistan
Iran says reformist to be released
Uighur leader says 10,000 went missing in one night
More International News...
Nigeria death toll rises
A selection of our best photos from the past 24 hours. Slideshow
Most Popular on Reuters
Sunbeds join cigarettes, arsenic as top cancer threat
Madoff: Can't believe fraud lasted so long
Key Republican says on "edge" of healthcare deal
Key Republican says on "edge" of US healthcare deal
Microsoft, Yahoo in 10-year Web search partnership
U.S. states to get "significant" obesity money
Subprime mortgage companies warn on U.S. foreclosures
Car bomb injures 46 at Spain barracks; ETA blamed | Video
Swine flu striking pregnant women hard: CDC study
U.S. releases unclassified spy images of Arctic ice
Most Popular Articles RSS Feed
US, China vow closer ties
Schwarzenegger slashes spending
Sotomayor wins Committee approval
Jackson doctor's house raided
Mudslide triggers China train wreck
Feds raid Jackson doctor's home
Iraq blasts and clashes
Spanish fire alert widens
Haitian migrant shipwreck kills 15
The US consumer and China
Most Popular Videos RSS Feed
Help and Contact Us |
Advertise With Us |
Site Index |
Thomson Reuters Corporate:
Professional Products |
Professional Products Support |
About Thomson Reuters |
Latin America |
United Kingdom |
Thomson Reuters is the world's largest international multimedia news agency, providing investing news, world news, business news, technology news, headline news, small business news, news alerts, personal finance, stock market, and mutual funds information available on Reuters.com, video, mobile, and interactive television platforms. Thomson Reuters journalists are subject to an Editorial Handbook which requires fair presentation and disclosure of relevant interests.
NYSE and AMEX quotes delayed by at least 20 minutes. Nasdaq delayed by at least 15 minutes. For a complete list of exchanges and delays, please click here.