Chinese killed by Boko Haram suspects in Nigeria
Updated: 2012-10-09 06:23
LAGOS - A Chinese was among victims killed by suspects of the Boko Haram sect in the troubled city of Maiduguri in northern Nigeria, the Chinese Embassy in the West African country confirmed on Monday.
The confirmation came after local security sources on Sunday disclosed that gunmen suspected to be members of the Boko Haram sect killed several people the previous day in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State.
The sources located the deadly attack on Saturday afternoon in the Gubio Local Government Area.
A Chinese cook working with a Chinese construction company and his Nigerian aide were returning from shopping at a local market when the attack occurred, claiming the lives of both of them.
A witness, who gave his name only as Ba'ana, told Xinhua that they were both shot dead at Gubio, a small community, as the duo were returning after buying meat at the market.
"The gunmen came to the area in a tricycle. Two of them disembarked from the tricycle and walked toward the Chinese and his friend who accompanied him to the market. The gunmen shot them and everybody fled immediately," Ba'ana said.
Local police, who have launched an investigation into the killing, said the Chinese might not be the target of the gunmen, although he became a latest victim.
A senior police officer seemed hesitate to comment on the incident because of its negative implications. "You know it involved a foreigner and the publicity of the tragic incident will give our country a bad image, especially with China which we've enjoyed good economic ties with," he told Xinhua.
Militants of the Boko Haram sect staged an uprising in Maiduguri in 2009, attacking state institutions including prisons, police stations and schools. Hundreds of people have been killed ever since, either in the attacks or clashes with local security forces.