Gunmen killed two policemen manning a checkpoint in northern Nigeria in the latest in a wave of such shootings that have raised alarm over rebels from an Islamist sect, an official said Friday.
The attack led authorities to announce that they were banning the night-time use of motorcycles in the city of Bauchi, where the shootings occurred, “as a result of the activities of gunmen suspected to be Boko Haram.”
The sect, also known as the Nigerian Taliban, launched an uprising last year in Nigeria’s north that ended with a brutal police and military assault which left hundreds dead.
Officials gave few details of the Thursday night attack in the working class area of Kofar Gombe.
Bauchi state government secretary Ahmad Ibrahim Dandeja said in a statement that “gunmen attacked a police roadblock …round 9:00 pm (2000 GMT) where two policemen were killed.”
He also announced that motorcycles would be banned between 6:00 pm and 6:00 am in the city. Many recent such shootings have been carried out by gunmen on motorcycles.
Last month suspected Boko Haram extremists attacked a prison in Bauchi and freed more than 700 inmates, while on Wednesday suspected sect members killed a police officer guarding a state official’s house in the city.
Attacks have also occurred in other areas in recent months.
Authorities had to deploy troops this week in the northern city of Maiduguri after a series of attacks blamed on Boko Haram.
On Monday, suspected sect members attacked and torched a police station in Maiduguri, the centre of last year’s uprising.
A similar motorcycle ban has already been put in place in Borno state, where Maiduguri is located.