- - Monday, October 8, 2012

MAIDUGURI — Nigerian soldiers angry about the killing of an officer fatally shot more than 30 civilians Monday in a northeastern city long under siege by a radical Islamist sect.

The attack came from soldiers attached to a special military unit on guard in Maiduguri, the spiritual home of the sect known as Boko Haram, supposedly in an effort to protect its citizens from the violence gripping the city.

The killings likely will further antagonize a population already alienated by checkpoints, security force harassment and the threat of being killed by soldiers who are targets for the sect’s increasingly bloody guerrilla attacks.

Nigeria's military has been accused of committing so-called “extrajudicial killings” while in pursuit of Boko Haram members.

The military now routinely claims massive operations with dozens of people killed, always referred to as Boko Haram members or sympathizers, announcements that cannot be independently verified. The military also downplays its own casualties suffered during the operations.

Lt. Col. Sagir Musa, a spokesman for the military force in the city, declined to comment about the retaliatory attack.


Turkish jets strike Kurdish bases in Iraq

ANKARA — Turkish jets have struck suspected Kurdish rebel targets in two separate cross-border raids in northern Iraq, a Turkish news agency reported Monday, prompting Iraq to vow to take “diplomatic” steps against Ankara for violating its sovereignty.

Turkey frequently has struck targets of the autonomy-seeking Kurdistan Workers’ Party in northern Iraq.

But with relations between Turkey and Iraq deteriorating, Baghdad recently warned Turkey against military operations on its territory.

Ties between Ankara and Baghdad have reached a low over a Turkish decision to shelter Iraq’s Sunni vice president, even after a Baghdad court sentenced him to death for running death squads.

Turkey also started importing crude oil from northern Iraq under a deal with the Iraqi Kurdish administration that has angered Baghdad.

In August, Iraq accused Turkey of interfering in its internal affairs after Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu paid a surprise visit to the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk, seen as a testing ground for whether Iraq’s sectarian leaders can reach reconciliation.


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