Terror sect Boko Haram killed as many as four police officers and a 9-year-old boy in the northeast region of Nigeria this weekend in two ambush attacks.
Both attacks occurred Friday night. The first occurred in the de facto Boko Haram headquarters of Maiduguri – a town vacated by Christians and non-natives following attacks by Boko Haram earlier this month.
Local police commissioner Simeon Midenda told reporters that members of the terror sect shot at a military patrol in the city. Two soldiers were killed and one of the stray rounds killed a 9-year-old child.
Boko Haram has been blamed for the deaths of more than 500 people over the last two years. The fundamentalist Islamic sect wants to implement Shariah law in Nigeria.
The second attack occurred in the central Nigerian city of Kabba in Kogi state.
Gunmen blew up a police station and the entrance of a bank. The explosion at the police station killed two officers.
Police say it is as likely that two unaffiliated robbers committed the attacks as it is that Boko Haram did. Adding to the murkiness is the amoebic nature of Boko Haram – the sect is uniform only in its desire to violently implement Shariah law.
Authorities in Kabba say the attack is similar to the attacks carried out by Boko Haram throughout the northeastern region of the country over the last year.
Nigeria is split almost evenly between Muslims, who occupy the north, and Christians, who occupy the south. Boko Haram has attacked Christians, rural communities and other, less radical Muslims while gaining influence and momentum in the economically depressed region.
The violence comes one day after attacks in the country’s capitol of Abuja, where Boko Haram took credit for killing six people in a police bombing.
"We are responsible for the bomb attack on the police headquarters in Abuja, which was to prove a point to all those who doubt our capability," the sect said in a statement.
Nigerian president Goodluck Johnathan said last week that Boko Haram was a “temporary” problem.
Suspects have not been detained in any of the attacks.