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Attack in Nigeria’s North Leaves at Least 12 Dead, Police Say

February 25, 2012

At least 12 people were killed yesterday in Nigeria in an attack on a police station by suspected Islamist militants in the northern city of Gombe, police said.

“Two policemen and 10 civilians died as a result of the attack,” Orubebe Gandhi, Gombe’s state police commissioner, said by phone today. He said officials believed the attack had been aimed at freeing people from a nearby prison and was carried out by Boko Haram, a group seeking imposition of Islamic Shariah law that’s been blamed for attacks in northern Nigeria and the capital, Abuja, since 2009.

Nigerian authorities imposed a 24-hour curfew in Gombe after the bomb blasts and shootings at the police station.

Boko Haram last week issued a statement saying it would carry out attacks in order to secure the release of members held in prison without trial.

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country of more than 164 million people, is roughly split between a mainly Muslim north and 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.

To contact the reporters on this story: Ardo Hazzad in Bauchi at; Gbenga Akingbule in Maiduguri at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Tighe at

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