Lagos, Nigeria (PANA) - Nigeria's federal government has beefed up security at the state oil firm in the capital city of Abuja, following intelligence reports that the company's imposing headquarters building is the next target of the Islamic sect Boko Haram.
Sunday's deployment of soldiers and anti-riot policemen, as well as an armoured personnel carrier, to protect the offices of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) came as suspected Boko Haram members killed 10 persons in Maiduguri, capital of northern Borno State, in separate attacks over the weekend.
“We (policemen) were asked to report to the NNPC Towers by our DPO (Divisional Police Officer) because Boko Haram people are planning to bomb the building,'' the private Punch newspaper reported Monday, quoting an unidentified police officer.
“The intelligence just came in, so we had to hurriedly come down here,” the policeman said.
On the same day, suspected Boko Haram members killed six persons, including the Chairman of the Ijere Local Government area of Borno, Alhaji Mustapha Baale, who was shot dead by gunmen on his way home.
Barely two hours after the killing, gunmen suspected to be members of the sect fired bullets and threw a bomb at a drinking joint, the Wulari Police station Mammy market, killing five persons and injuring many more.
Commander of the military unit deployed to the state to tackle the Islamic fundamentalists, Maj.-Gen. Jack Nwachukwu Nwaogbo, confirmed the killings to journalists in Maiduguri..
Earlier on Saturday, the gunmen had killed four people also in attacks by gunmen in Maiduguri.
The victims included two brothers, Isa Umar and Apagu Umar, who were shot in the head by gunmen who scaled the fence into their residence.
Boko Haram, which is campaigning to impose the Islamic Sharia law on the predominantly-Muslim states in the north, has claimed responsibility for the rash of killings in northern Nigeria and the capital city of Abuja in recent times, including the bombing of the police headquarters in the federal capital 16 June.
-0- PANA SEG 4July2011