Nigeria says its security forces in the north have beaten back Islamic radicals behind days of unrest that has left hundreds of people dead.
Militants are fleeing the flashpoint city of Maiduguri amid a major crackdown by troops, their ranks bolstered by reinforcements. Some reports say 200 fundamentalists and their sect’s second-in- command were killed this morning alone. Sometimes referred to as the “Nigerian Taliban” the Boko Haram sect opposes Western education, demanding a wider adoption of Sharia law across Nigeria, which is roughly equally divided between Christians and Muslims. Amid the chaos of the fighting, no-one is quite sure how many have died since violence erupted on Sunday. But latest reports from police and witnesses suggest at least 600 people may have been killed in a country where most Muslims reject the extremists’ views.