The leader of a radical Islamist group which started four days of bloody fighting in Nigeria has been shot dead in police custody, according to the police themselves. The group Boko Haram models itself on the Taliban in Afghanistan. Police said its leader Mohammed Yusuf begged for his life before being shot just hours after his capture.
The violence erupted across four of Nigeria’s north eastern provinces. Yusuf was killed in the capital of Borno province, Maiduguri. The Nigerian military were sent in to crush the violence and root out fighters from the Boko Haram sect, who were demanding wider implementation of Islamic sharia law. Yusuf’s supporters had mounted attacks on churches, police stations and government buildings armed with machetes, home-made guns and petrol-bombs. At least 180 people died, though one report puts the number of dead at 600.