By: AFP Writers
Two policemen were shot dead and a military patrol squad bombed Tuesday in Nigeria's troubled city of Maiduguri , frequently hit by deadly attacks blamed on Islamists , a senior army chief said.
"A policeman was shot and killed outside his house by motorcycle-riding gunmen in Gwange area of the city," Brigadier-General Jack Okechukwu Nwaogbo, the commander of a recently deployed crack military unit, told AFP.
A police detective in plain clothes was killed on the streets in a similar attack in another part of the city.
"There was also a bomb attack targeting a military patrol in London Ciki neighbourhood. The bomb was tossed at a patrol van, fortunately there was no casualty," he said.
A resident, Lawan Maikudi, however, said one soldier was killed in the bombing.
"The bomb exploded very close to the van, killing one soldier," said Maikudi.
Nwaogbo said the attackers fled into a nearby house, where the military rounded up 20 people.
Attacks in the city have been claimed by or blamed on Boko Haram , an extremist sect that sprung up in 2004, drawing inspiration from the Afghan Taliban.
Two years ago, Boko Haram launched a short-lived armed uprising in a doomed bid to establish an Islamic state.
Although the rebellion was crushed in a military assault that killed hundreds, mostly sect members, it failed to deter further attacks.
In recent months the attacks have intensified in number and size.
Nigeria's state secret police , which on Monday reported over 100 arrests of suspected sect members, said they would not be prosecuted.
President Goodluck Jonathan last week ordered the deployment of a special force comprising hundreds of military, navy, air force , police, immigration and customs personnel -- to quash the sect.