Explosions, Gunfire Strike Northeast Nigeria City

Published February 20, 2012 3:00PM (EST)

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (AP) — Gun fire and explosions have echoed through a city in Nigeria's northeast that's home to a radical Islamist sect.

The fighting began Monday in the city of Maiduguri, with at least three major explosions heard in a popular market in the city. A military spokesman said the army killed eight suspected members of the radical Islamist sect known as Boko Haram, while three civilians had been wounded.

However, traders in the markets said they feared others had been killed in the fighting.

Boko Haram is waging an increasingly violent campaign against Nigeria's weak central government in its quest to enact strict Shariah law, free its detained members and avenge Muslim deaths in the nation.

By Salon Staff

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