Kano - Gunmen opened fire on Muslim worshippers outside the home of a controversial cleric in Nigeria on Sunday, killing at least one person and wounding others.

The attack in the north-eastern city of Potiskum occurred outside the cleric’s home, where he leads prayers on Sunday evenings, but it was not clear whether he was there at the time of the shooting. Residents said he was present and unharmed, but the military said he was out of town.

The cleric is known to be critical of Islamist group Boko Haram, but has also criticised a military task force in the area over a recent attack that destroyed the city’s cattle market and left at least 34 people dead.

“Some unknown gunmen attacked Shia worshippers this evening, killing one and injuring four others,” Colonel Dahiru Abdussalam, commander of the task force, said.

“Soldiers and policemen were deployed to the area and cordoned it off in the hope of finding the attackers.”

Boko Haram's insurgency has killed more than 1 000 people since mid-2009.

Nigeria's military has also been accused of abuses amid the insurgency, including the killing of civilians and the burning of their homes.

- Sapa-AFP