MAIDUGURI, Nigeria – The leader of the Islamist sect blamed for days of violence in northern Nigeria has been shot and killed while in police custody, officials said Thursday.HRW is clearly a terror supporter themselves, if they care more about a terrorist than his victims.
The police commander of Borno state announced on state radio that Mohammed Yusuf, the leader of the sect some call the Nigerian Taliban, has "died in police custody."
He gave no further explanation, but the state governor's spokesman Usman Ciroma told The Associated Press: "I saw his body at police headquarters. I believe he was shot while he was trying to escape."
Yusuf's death could provoke more violence, though his followers in the Boko Haram sect may be in disarray after troops shelled his compound in the northern city of Maiduguri on Wednesday. Yusuf, 39, managed to escape with about 300 followers, some of them armed. His deputy, Bukar Shekau, was killed in the attack, according to Army commander Maj. Gen. Saleh Maina.
Troops killed about 100 militants by an AP reporter's count, half of them inside the sect's mosque. Soldiers then launched a manhunt, and Yusuf was reportedly found in a goat's pen at the home of his in-laws.
Human Rights Watch called reports of Yusuf's killing "extremely worrying."
"The Nigerian authorities must act immediately to investigate and hold to account all those responsible for this unlawful killing and any others associated with the recent violence in northern Nigeria," said Corinne Dufka, the group's senior West Africa researcher.
"The local commissioner of police should be immediately removed pending an investigation into Mr. Yusuf's killing," she said in a statement.
Seeking to impose Islamic Shariah law throughout this multi-religious country, the militants attacked police stations, churches, prisons and government buildings in a wave of violence that began Sunday in Borno and quickly spread to three other northern states.Of course these so-called rights groups would make limp accusations like that. If this terror cell did vicious things like those, they deserve whatever they got.
But, leading Nigerian rights groups accuse security forces of killing bystanders and other civilians. A military spokesman denied the charge and said it was impossible for rights workers to tell who was a civilian and who was a member of Boko Haram, which means "Western education is sin" in the local Hausa language.