Lagos, Nigeria (PANA) - Six persons were killed in two separate incidents in Maiduguri, the home base of Nigeria's violent Islamic sect Boko Haram, on Thursday, the private Vanguard newspaper reported Friday.
In the first incident, at least four traders were shot dead when unknown gunmen attacked the city's largest market, Monday Market.
The incident forced many traders who were at the peak of their pre-Ramadan shopping to flee the market.
The paper quoted the General Manager of Monday Market, Alhaji Ajiya Terrab, as saying: “Some gunmen actually attacked the market and killed four traders and injured two others.”
No group has claimed responsibility for the shooting which, however, bore the hallmarks of the sect.
In the second incident, two persons were killed when the military Joint Task Force (JTF) deployed to the city clashed with gunmen suspected to be members of the Boko Haram sect in Gambouru ward of Maiduguri.
Vanguard quoted an eyewitness as saying the clash occurred when suspected gunmen attacked one of the military patrol vehicles near Kofa Biyu onSir Kashim Ibrahim Way.
“We had to run for our dear lives, as the shootings between soldiers and gunmen came from all directions. I cannot tell you whether some people were killed in the shoot-outs, but some of us ran into our houses for fear of being killed by stray bullets,” the unidentified eyewitness said.
The killings came barely 24 hours after President Goodluck Jonathan lifted the state of emergency he imposed in some parts of the state, as well as three other states, last December.
Since launching its violent campaign in 2009, Boko Haram has killed over 1,200 people in bomb and gun attacks, according to Nigeria's Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Oluseyi Petinrin.
-0- PANA SEG 20July2012