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World Briefing / Nigeria

39 militants are killed in clash

July 27, 2009|Times Wire Reports

Islamist militants attacked a police station in northern Nigeria, and police killed 39 of them and arrested more than 150, a police spokesman said.

The fighters attacked a station in the capital of Bauchi state, police spokesman Mohammed Barau said. He said no policemen were killed. Fifteen militants were injured and 156 were arrested, he said.

"The fundamentalists, known as Pokoharam in the local language, are those clamoring for the prohibition of Western education in the state," Barau said. "They were armed with different types of dangerous weapons. There were so many of them."

Bauchi state lies along a line splitting Nigeria's predominantly Muslim and pastoralist north from southern Christian and animist farming communities. Bauchi is one of 12 northern states in which Sharia, or Islamic law, is practiced. About 140 million people live in Nigeria, Africa's most populous country.

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