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Jul 30, 2009 | 21:37 GMT

2 mins read

Nigeria: An Islamist Sect Leader is Killed

PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP/Getty Images
Mohammed Yusuf, the leader of the Nigerian Islamist sect Boko Haram, died in police custody July 30 following his capture by Nigerian security forces. The sect, whose name translates to "Western education is a sin" in the local Hausa language (the group has also been referred to as the Nigerian Taliban), has been fighting running battles resulting in hundreds of deaths in several northern and middle belt states of Nigeria since the Nigerian security forces raided one of Yusuf's compounds July 26. Nigerian security forces will enforce a state of emergency that can be expected in the northern and middle belt states of the country that have experienced recent clashes. Army personnel, paramilitary mobile police and regular police will likely maintain a heavy presence with little restraint in Borno, Bauchi, Kaduna, Plateau, Taraba, Yobe and Zamfara states to prevent subsequent clashes from spiraling out of control. A state of emergency in those states could be maintained for months while order is restored, but even so, tensions will not fully dissipate. Intercommunal clashes that have involved Boko Haram (which publicly aimed for the adoption of Shariah throughout Nigeria) and Christian militias have been a frequent occurrence in Nigeria's northern and middle belt states. Though the Boko Haram leadership has now been removed (top Yusuf deputy Abubakar Shekau also was killed earlier July 30), the group has not been eliminated entirely. But with Nigerian security forces sure to keep a heavy presence in states where the group had a foothold, the sect will be constrained in mounting any significant reprisal.

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