Police, sect members killed in shootout

Maiduguri, Nigeria -

Nigeria's army says a local police chief and 14 suspected radical Islamist sect members have died in a shootout in Nigeria's besieged north-east.

An army spokesman said on Tuesday that Boko Haram gunmen engaged police and the army in an hours-long gunbattle in the city of Potiskum starting late on Sunday night.

Lieutenant Eli Lazarus said the assailants launched their attack by bombing a police station and a bank.

Boko Haram is waging a campaign of killings that has left more than 770 people dead in Nigeria in 2012 alone according to an Associated Press count.

Nigeria's government has failed to stop the violence. Rights groups and the US government have said it is likely exacerbating the crisis by using excessive force and endangering civilians. - Sapa-AP