42 killed as ‘Taliban’ sect clashes with Nigerian police force

KANO: Forty-two people were killed today in clashes between police and members of a radical sect in Nigeria that is inspired by the Taliban in Afghanistan, a hospital source said.

“We have received a total of 42 bodies,” Awwal Isa, a nurse at Bauchi Specialist Hospital in the northern city of Bauchi where the violence took place, told AFP over phone.

They were victims of “fighting between security personnel and members of the Taliban,” he said, alluding to the sect founded in Nigeria in 2004 with a mission to set up a strict Islamic state in Nigeria.

The two sides exchanged gunfire after a failed dawn attack on a police station in the neighbourhood of Dutsen Tenshin. “Our men succeeded in repelling the dawn attack by the Taliban,” Bauchi police spokesman Mohammed Barau told AFP over phone, adding that it appeared the assailants “wanted to steal weapons from the police station”. “We have launched a manhunt for other members of the group that have fled,” Barau added. Local journalists who went to Bauchi Specialist Hospital told AFP they had counted nine bodies there — six Taliban militants and three local inhabitants.

Isa said, initially, the hospital received nine bodies, followed by another 33. He added that one of the dead was a soldier.

The Nigerian Taliban debuted in 2004 when it set up a base in Kanamma village in Yobe state,

from where it attacked police outposts and killed police officers.