by Staff Writers
Kano, Nigeria (AFP) Aug 6, 2011
Residents of violence-wracked Nigerian city of Maiduguri on Saturday accused soldiers of killing a seven-year old girl in a bid to disperse a crowd scrambling for free grains.
"People had gathered to collect grains brought by some relief organisations and when the crowd began to swell soldiers from the joint task force deployed to the area began shooting in the air to disperse the crowd," resident Sadiq Babawuro told AFP on the phone from Maiduguri.
"One of the soldiers... fired directly into the crowd, killing a seven year-old girl coming out of the market nearby," said Babawuro, a resident of Budum in Maiduguri.
Another resident Maryam Kanta said the girl who was "on an errand for her mother died on the spot and the crowd scampered for safety from the sporadic shooting".
The military refused to comment on the incident.
Maiduguri has seen near daily gun and bomb attacks by radical Islamist Boko Haram sect in recent months, prompting the government to deploy soldiers to contain the violence.
Three weeks ago soldiers allegedly went on rampage in Budum area of the city in an apparent reprisal following a bomb attack by suspected Boko Haram members on an army patrol.
The soldeirs burnt homes, shops and vehicles, forcing residents to flee.
Amnesty International said at least 13 people were killed by soldiers during the rampage.
Meanwhile a bomb detonated in another part of the city on Saturday but no-one was hurt, residents said.
"When the bomb went off with a loud bang on an empty street in Kwanar Yobe area people deserted their homes for fear of attack by soldiers," resident Ismail Hannafi said.
Boko Haram launched an uprising in 2009 put down by a brutal military assault that left hundreds dead.
The sect has claimed to be fighting for the establishment of an Islamic state in Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation of 150 million people split roughly in half between Christians and Muslims.
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S. Sudan splinter rebel faction disowns peace deal
Khartoum (AFP) Aug 4, 2011
A group of South Sudanese rebels formerly linked to militia leader Peter Gadet, who agreed to a ceasefire this week, accused him on Thursday of taking government bribes and rejected the peace deal. Gadet, one of the fledgling country's most powerful rebel leaders, returned to Juba on Wednesday, after secret talks with South Sudanese officials in Nairobi, to accept an amnesty offered by Presi ... read more
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