Nigeria's 'Boko Haram': Abuja sees security forces targeted
The clash occurred at about 03:00 local
time after a tip off about the location of
a suspected Boko Haram weapons cache,
Nigeria's spy agency said.
The State Security Service did not give
any details about casualties. A witness
told the BBC he saw nine bodies.
Boko Haram is most active in north-
eastern Nigeria, where a state of
emergency was imposed in May.
If confirmed, it would be the first time
Boko Haram has staged an attack in
Abuja this year.
Attacks in the north-east have increased
recently despite a massive military
deployment to the worst-affected areas.
In the latest incident in Borno state,
officials said at least 87 people had been
killed by militants, who disguised
themselves in military uniforms at a
checkpoint outside the town of
Benisheik. They shot dead those trying to
The group wants to create an Islamic
state across Nigeria and has waged a
deadly insurgency since 2009.
'Digging for arms'
The BBC's Mohammed Kabir Mohammed
in Abuja says the shooting took place at
a two-storey building which has just
been built but is not yet complete.
Young men have been using the building
to sleep in at night, he says.
The security team which approached the
building were acting on information
received from two men, agents said.
"No sooner had the team commenced
digging for the arms, than they came
under heavy gunfire attack by other
Boko Haram elements," Reuters news
agency quotes a statement from State
Security Service as saying.
Our reporter says the building is in
Abuja's Apo district, home to a huge
residential complex for Nigerian
Abuja suffered two major Boko Haram
attack two years ago, when a suicide
bomber rammed a car into the police
headquarters killing eight people in June
About two months after that, the group
attacked the UN headquarters in Abuja,
killing 23 people.
The attack near Benisheik took place on
Tuesday, but news of it was slow to
emerge as all phone lines have been cut
off in an effort to help the military
The Boko Haram members drove into the
town in about 20 pick-up trucks, the AFP
news agency quoted an anonymous
security source as saying.
The BBC's Nigeria correspondent Will
Ross says it was one of the deadliest
since the state of emergency was
In the three days since the attack, health
workers have been loading dead bodies
onto trucks and some reports say the
militants killed more than 140 people.
"Apart from the dead bodies recovered
today [Thursday], we collected 55 on
Wednesday and the fact is that we did
not go deep into the bush where I
strongly believe that many people have
fallen there," Nigeria's Daily Trust
newspaper quotes Abdulaziz Kolomi, an
official with state's environmental
protection agency, as saying.
There was also an attack by suspected
militants on Wednesday night in
neighbouring Yobe state, which is also
under a state of emergency but has not
witnessed so much violence.
A resident of Buni Yadi told the BBC
Hausa Service that Islamists attacked the
town at about 22:30, burning the police
station and other public buildings.
"A soldier was killed in a shootout and
the wife of the [divisional police chief]
was burnt to death in her home," state
police commissioner Sanusi Rufa'i told
Local vigilante groups have been formed
to help counter the militants but scores
of these volunteers have been killed in
Last month, the army said it had killed
Boko Haram's leader Abubakar Shekau
but this has not been confirmed and the
militants' attacks have continued.