Four dead in Nigeria shootout, blast

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Copy of iol pic afr Nigeria Violence~1 AP A police officer walks past a burnt out shopping mall in Maiduguri, Nigeria.

Kano, Nigeria -

A policeman and at least three suspected Boko Haram gunmen died Monday following an early morning bombing and shooting raid on a police formation in northeast Nigeria, a military spokesman said.

Suspected Boko Haram Islamists launched an attack with explosives and rifles on a regional police headquarters in the town of Potiskum in Yobe state around 2:00 am (0100 GMT), leading to a shootout with police and troops, Lieutenant Lazarus Eli said.

“The (military) was promptly alerted and reinforced the police in repelling the attack by Boko Haram terrorists on the police area command,” he told AFP.

“The DPO (Divisional Police Officer) died in hospital from gunshot wounds he sustained in the shootout while three bodies of the terrorists were recovered, although the terrorists took away around 10 of their men killed in the encounter,” Eli claimed.

Residents of Potiskum said explosions and gunfire echoed through the town for over three hours.

The Islamists also burnt a bank and looted a store, residents said, but Eli declined to comment.

Potiskum, the commercial capital of the state, has been repeatedly hit by deadly Boko Haram attacks in recent months, leading to heavy military crackdowns in which dozens of sect members were killed or arrested.

Violence linked to Boko Haram's insurgency has left some 3 000 people dead since 2009, including killings by the security forces. - Sapa-AFP


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