Boko Haram, the Muslim movement that launched an uprising in Nigeria in summer 2009, has been linked to a recent wave of assassinations in Maiduguri and elsewhere in northeastern Nigeria. Nigerian authorities have responded to the violence by deploying troops and deporting foreign nationals. Yesterday, however, another assassination occurred:
Gunmen suspected of being members of [Boko Haram] have shot dead a soldier in the city of Maiduguri, police said Sunday.
The two motorcycle-riding gunmen shot dead the soldier who was recovering from an undisclosed illness, and also shot and wounded his friend in Zinnari district of the city, Borno State police spokesman Lawal Ibrahim told AFP.
The soldier had returned home from his military base in the town of Biu, 200 kilometres (125 miles) away, to seek medical care, Ibrahim said.
This murder came a week after the arrest of a member of the Boko Haram sect during a failed attempt to shoot a local traditional leader at his house in the city, which was centre of the sect’s armed uprising last year.
Use of two-man motorcycle teams has been a signature feature of these killings. Call it terrorism or urban guerrilla warfare, these tactics continue to frustrate authorities – and, I would imagine, intimidate local residents. Boko Haram may attempt bigger attacks at some point, but their hit-and-run killings are already causing chaos.