From Africa News Special Focus:
Bar attack kills 8 in
north-eastern NigeriaHUNDREDS OF LOCAL PEOPLE WERE FORCED TO TAKE REFUGES IN
THE STATE POLICE HEADQUARTERS WHILE SOME OTHERS HAD FLED
LAGOS, (Xinhua) -- At least eight people including four policemen were killed Tuesday night in an attack that hit a beer parlor in northeastern Nigeria, local authorities said.
The tragedy occurred when six suspected members of the Boko Haram extremist group began to open fire at customers drinking beer, state police commissioner Tanko Lawan told reporters.
The attack in the town of Potiskum in Yobe state came after the extremist sect promised to combat against Christians in the country's Muslim north.
Investigation was already under way, Lawan said, adding the bodies of the death had been deposited at the Potiskum General Hospital.
The sect, whose name means "Western education is sacrilege" or "Western education is a sin" in the local Hausa language, has become a major security problem for President Goodluck Jonathan's administration.
It claimed responsibility for attacks on Christmas Day that killed at least 42 people and a bloody suicide car bombing in August last year, which targeted the UN headquarters in the current capital city of Abuja.
On Tuesday morning, a mob attacked a mosque and Quranic school in the Nigerian Christian-dominated southeast state of Edo, leaving at least five people dead and six others injured, according to the West African country's Red Cross agency.
The attack was widely seen as the fallout of a paralyzing nationwide strike called by the country's Labor Congress and its affiliate unions against the removal of fuel subsidy by the federal government.
Hundreds of local people were forced to take refuges in the state police headquarters while some others had fled.
Local police commissioner Femi Omojola said some miscreants had tried to hijack an otherwise peaceful protest Monday in Benin but the security forces moved in quickly and restored law and order.
"The perpetrators were neither Christians nor Muslims," he said, adding that they were just hoodlums who wanted to steal.
The strike, which began on Monday, came after the president removed subsidies on Jan. 1 that had kept gasoline prices low.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Tuesday met with Nigerian Foreign Minister Olugbenga Ayodeji Ashiru on recent terrorist attacks in the oil-rich nation.
"The secretary-general and the foreign minister discussed recent developments in Nigeria as well as progress made in the investigation of the Aug. 26, 2011 attack against the UN House in Abuja that resulted in the deaths of 25 persons, including 13 UN staff members," said a UN readout released by Ban's spokesperson.
The president has imposed a state of emergency just over a week ago in the country's most affected regions of Borno, Niger, Plateau and Yobe states.
He also ordered borders near the states of Borno and Yobe to be closed. However, attacks had not stopped.
Also on Tuesday, the southwest state Oyo imposed a 12-hour curfew due to the protests of the soaring domestic oil prices.
The curfew, which would take effect from 7:00 p.m. local time (1800 GMT) to 7:00 a.m. (0600 GMT), was to ensure security for people and their property, local government said in a statement.