Nigerian Troops Attack Militants' Mosque, Kill 100

Group blamed for wave of violence; leader escapes
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 30, 2009 6:52 AM CDT
In this photo taken Monday, July 27, 2009, arrested members of a local Islamic group sit outside a police station alongside their seized possessions in Kano, Nigeria.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Nigerian security forces killed more than 100 militants yesterday as they shelled then stormed the mosque and compound of an Islamist sect blamed for days of violence across northern Nigeria. The bodies of barefoot young men littered the streets of Maiduguri this morning as the army conducted a house-to-house manhunt on the outskirts of the city for sect members, who have been seeking to impose Islamic Shariah law throughout this multi-religious country. Police said most of the dead were Islamist fighters.

Sect leader Mohammed Yusuf escaped along with about 300 followers, but his deputy was said to have been killed in last night's bombardment. An AP reporter watched soldiers, under fire, shoot their way into the mosque and then rake those holed up inside with gunfire. The militants, armed with homemade hunting rifles, bows and arrows and scimitars, were no match for the government forces. “The mission has been accomplished," said the army commander.