At least 61 people have been killed during several days of fighting in northeast Nigeria between security forces and a radical Muslim sect responsible for a series of increasingly bloody attacks in Africa’s most populous nation, authorities said Saturday.
The fighting between suspected members of the sect known as Boko Haram and a joint task force of police and military began Thursday in Borno and Yobe states in Nigeria’s arid northeast corner bordering Cameroon, Chad and Niger. The fighting left residents cowering in their homes amid gunfire and explosions.
At least 50 people have died in Damaturu and Potiskum in Yobe state during the fighting, local police commissioner Lawan Tanko told The Associated Press on Saturday. In Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state, a mortuary official who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter told the AP at least 11 bodies had been brought in from the fighting.