Boko Haram is frequently portrayed as a loopy, but dangerous fringe group. But the group focuses its attacks on practices that are against Sharia, and their aim is the fundamental aim of jihad in all its forms: to impose Islamic law. “Nigerian Islamists open fire on beer garden, kill four,” by Aminu Abubakar for Agence France-Presse, June 13 (thanks to Ima Freeman):
Suspected members of a radical Islamic sect have shot dead four people at a beer garden in a north Nigerian town where the group recently staged bomb and gun attacks, police said Monday.
“Four people were killed in an attack by gunmen suspected to be members of Boko Haram sect on a beer parlour in the Bulunkutu surburb of the city last night,” Zakari Adamu, assistant police commissioner for Borno state told AFP.
The attack occurred in Maiduguri, the northeastern city which has been the focus of many attacks and where the group staged an uprising two years ago.
“The gunmen opened fire on people drinking in the beer parlour, killing four before engaging in a shootout with police who were attracted to the scene by gunshots”, Adamu said on the phone from Maiduguri.
The assailants escaped.
Although Borno state is one of the 12 northern Nigerian states that have adopted the Muslim Sharia law, which bans alcohol, people there still drink beer openly.
The attack came a week after multiple bomb explosions and shootings targeting two police stations and a church rocked the city.
At least 14 people, including a pentecostal church pastor, were killed and 17 others seriously injured in the attacks.
Police have intensified surveillance in Maiduguri since last week’s attacks, leading to 19 arrests and the recovery of weapons including two rocket launchers and kalashnikov rifles.
“We arrested 14 people along with the weapons while five others were arrested for bringing in bombs into the city,” said Adamu.
The suspects have been taken to the police headquarters in Nigeria’s capital Abuja for further investigation, he said.
Boko Haram, also known as the Nigerian Talibans, launched an uprising in 2009 which was put down by a brutal military assault that left hundreds dead.
The sect, which has pushed for the creation of an Islamic state, has been blamed for shootings of police and community leaders, bomb blasts and raids on churches, police stations and a prison.