MAIDUGURI, Nigeria – Suspected members of Nigerian Islamist sect Boko Haram freed 14 inmates from a prison in the northeast state of Yobe late on Wednesday and attacked a police station, police said on Friday, the latest of what have become almost daily attacks.
Three of the gunmen who carried out the attacks were killed and one policeman was wounded, local spokesman Toyin Gbadegesin said.
Boko Haram has been unrelenting in its low level violent campaign against President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration. A brief flirtation with peace talks collapsed at the beginning of last week.
Months of gun and bomb attacks blamed on the sect have killed hundreds since the sect launched its uprising more than two years ago to try to carve out an Islamic state in Nigeria.
Nigerian forces have been carrying out house-to-house searches this week in the sect’s home town of Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state. Similar crackdowns in the past have pushed attacks into neighbouring states, including Yobe.
One of Boko Haram’s primary demands is that its members are freed from prison. While the government has refused any releases there have been several jail breaks in the northeast in the last year.
On Saturday, gunfire erupted in Maiduguri and in the north’s biggest city of Kano, as militants battled with security forces. The Islamists also attacked two police stations with explosives in Maiduguri.