Nigerian security forces gunbattle with extremists

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Associated Press

Posted on July 12, 2013 at 11:34 AM

Updated Friday, Jul 12 at 11:34 AM

LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — Police say joint security forces engaged Islamic extremists in a five-hour gunbattle that killed one suspect in Sokoto city in northwest Nigeria.

It's apparently the first report in a year of activity in Sokoto by suspected members of the Boko Haram, the extremist group that is blamed for attacks on schools that have killed dozens of children in northeast Nigeria. The city is home to the Sultan of Sokoto, the pre-eminent leader of Nigeria's tens of millions of Muslims who preaches against extremism.

Deputy police superintendent Almustapha Sani told The Associated Press Friday that one suspect was arrested and five women and six children living with the militants were "rescued."

He said the shootout began before dawn Thursday and lasted hours because security forces were afraid of killing civilians.

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