Kano - Nigeria's Boko Haram was suspected on Sunday of
killing a Muslim cleric who had criticised the Islamic extremist group, and of
shooting dead a Christian preacher, in the latest violence to hit northern
The deaths came after seven people were killed by a roadside
bomb in a border area of the remote northeast, which has seen mounting militant
activity in recent months, and heavy casualties last weekend.
The first attack happened when unidentified gunmen shot at
Muslim cleric Adam Albani's car at about 22:30 (21:30 GMT) on Saturday in
Zaria, as he drove home from teaching a theology class.
Local resident Mohammed Usman said Albani's wife and son
were hit, while the gunmen appeared to have dragged the cleric from the car and
shot him at close range.
"We kept hearing gunshots very close to our homes and
later we heard the sound of a car retreating and when we later came to the
scene we found Sheikh Albani lying outside the car with lots of bullet holes on
him," he added.
"He was still alive but his wife and a child she was
holding in the front seat were already dead while the rest of the children
sitting in the back seat were unharmed."
Albani's brother Kaburu Adam said the cleric, who had
criticised the group and given his support to the Nigerian military campaign
against them, died shortly after he was admitted to hospital.
Separately, gunmen killed a pastor in an attack on a church
in Sabon Garin Yambdula, in the Madagali area of Adamawa state late on Friday.
Ten people tried to repel the attack with hunting rifles,
said Madagali local government chairperson Maina Ularamu.
The attackers made off with four cows and also killed two
goats, said Ularamu, who declined to say whether Boko Haram fighters were
But the attack came after 26 people, most of them
worshippers, were killed in a Roman Catholic church in Waga Chakawa, also in
Madagali, last Sunday.
"All we know is that the gunmen were not soldiers,
although they were dressed in military uniform, because some of them wore
bathroom slippers instead of boots," he said.
Others had their faces covered, he added.
Zaria, a predominantly Muslim city with a reputation as a
centre for Islamic and Western scholarship, has not been known as a major
hotbed of Islamist activity.