(Updates with comment from police spokesman in second paragraph.)
June 21 (Bloomberg) -- Suspected Islamic gunmen killed five policemen and a civilian during a raid on a police station and a bank yesterday in Nigeria’s northern Katsina state, police said.
The attackers stole weapons from the police armory and freed suspects detained in the station in the town of Kankara, Katsina police spokesman Abubakar Mohammed said by phone today from the state capital.
Authorities in northern Nigeria have blamed a radical Islamic sect known as Boko Haram for a spate of bomb attacks and killings targeting government officials and the security forces since last year.
The group, which draws inspiration from Afghanistan’s Taliban movement, claimed responsibility for a blast on June 16 at Nigeria’s police headquarters in the capital, Abuja, which killed at least five people and injured 11.
Nigeria, Africa’s top oil producer and most populous nation, with more than 140 million people, is roughly split between a mainly Muslim north and a predominantly Christian south. More than 14,000 people died in ethnic and religious clashes in the West African nation between 1999 and 2009, according to the Brussels-based International Crisis Group.
--With assistance from Elisha Bala-Gbogbo in Abuja. Editors: Karl Maier, Phil Sanders
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