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Boko Haram 'shoots ex-leader's son' Updated 34 minutes ago

Boko Haram 'shoots ex-leader's son'
Updated 34 minutes ago
The son of Nigeria's former President Olusegun Obasanjo has been shot and wounded in a battle with militant Islamists, the ex-leader's aide says.

Lt Col Adeboye Obasanjo was injured as the army fought to recapture the north-eastern town of Michika from Boko Haram, Muhammad Keffi said.

"Scores of insurgents" were also killed in the battle, the military said.

Last month, Boko Haram declared an Islamic state in areas it controls in north-eastern Nigeria.

Experts raised concerns that Nigeria, Africa's most populous country, could break up in a way similar to Iraq and Syria where the militant group Islamic State (IS) has declared a caliphate.

Thousands of people are fleeing their homes in Mubi, the second largest city and commercial hub of north-eastern Adamawa state, amid fears that it could be Boko Haram's next target, reports the BBC's Bashir Sa'ad Abdullahi from the capital, Abuja.

Boko Haram insurgents have over-run Michika and Baza, two towns close to Mubi, in recent days, he says.

The attack on a platoon headed by by Lt Col Obasanjo coincided with a ferocious air assault on the militants, Nigeria's privately owned This Day newspaper reports,

'Cameroon incursion'

Col Obasanjo was in a stable condition in hospital, Mr Keffi told the BBC's Hausa service.

His front-line role showed the family's commitment to "one Nigeria", Mr Keffi said.

A total of two officers and three soldiers were wounded in the battle, the military said.

Boko Haram changed tactics in recent months, holding on to towns in the north-east rather than carrying out hit-and-run attacks.

It has also made incursions into Cameroon,.

On Monday, Cameroon's military said it had killed more than 100 militants after they fired shells into Fotokol town.

"Our defence forces responded vigorously with mortar fire aimed at the positions held by units of the Boko Haram terrorist group. The Cameroonian response resulted in over 100 deaths among the aggressors," it added.

Fotokol is a small town on the northern tip of Cameroon, bordering Nigeria.

Last year, Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan imposed a state of emergency in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states, vowing to send more troops to crush the insurgency.

However, Boko Haram militants have stepped up their offensive and caused international outrage in April when they captured more than 200 girls from a boarding school in the town of Chibok, also in Borno state.

Countries such as China, France, the UK and US have sent military assistance to help find the girls but they have not yet been rescued.

BBC © 2014

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