Friday, July 31, 2009

Probably the last post on Nigeria for a while

If you're a regular reader of this blog, you'll know that this week I've been following the stories about violence between an Islamic extremist group and police in Northern Nigeria. The story (at least as this blog covered it) starts here with updates on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

The worst of this particular incident seems to be over, but I don't think this is the last of it.

NY Times doesn't have anything new today. Al Jazeera does. Again, I would like to say how impressed I've been with Al Jazeera's coverage of this story. And how depressingly bad the NY Times' coverage was. Ironically, Al Jazeera's lead is about a New York-based human rights group. BBC also covers the story here.

The story now is that there are conflicting reports on the death of Mohammed Yusuf. The police say he was killed in a shoot-out while trying to escape. But "New York-based Human Rights Watch said on Friday reports that Mohammed Yusuf, the leader of Boko Haram, was shot and killed while in police custody were 'extremely worrying'."

Why do I suspect the police story isn't entirely accurate. Probably because "a Reuters news agency reporter and other local journalists said they had seen Yusuf at a military barracks in Maiduguri standing up and with no visible injuries following his capture. He was then transferred to the city police headquarters where he died." And the BBC interviewed the guy who captured Yusuf, Col Ahanotou, who said, "All I know is that in the attack, I was able to pick him up from his hide out and hand him over to police." So that's not pretty.

In better news, it sounds like things are at least temporarily calmer in that region. But if you could spare a prayer for Nigeria, it sure wouldn't hurt.

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