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Nigeria: three policemen and five militiamen killed in an ambush

Nigeria: three policemen and five militiamen killed in an ambush
Police officers detain an anti-government protester in Lagos, Nigeria, Saturday, June 12, 2021   -  
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Gunmen have killed eight Nigerian security personnel, including three policemen and five militiamen, in an ambush in the central state of Kogi.

In Saturday's attack, gunmen "suspected to be bandits ambushed and killed eight security personnel in Ajaokuta area," Onogwu Muhammed, spokesman for the Kogi state governor, said in a statement.

Kogi State is experiencing an upsurge in attacks, some claimed by Islamic State jihadists operating outside their usual base in the northeast. The governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, has suspended a local traditional ruler, the statement said.

"The governor has issued a stern warning to other traditional rulers in the state who may have links in one way or the other with criminal elements to desist immediately," Onogwu Muhammed said.

Nigeria's traditional leaders and emirs have no formal political power but are highly influential, acting as local custodians of culture and religion.

Last month, gunmen attacked a police station in the Okehi district of Kogi, killing a policeman, and in April, three policemen were killed in an attack on a police station in the town of Adavi.

Both attacks were claimed by the Islamic State in West Africa (Iswap) group, which split from Boko Haram in 2016 and took over leadership in northeast Nigeria.

The group claimed responsibility for an assault this month on a prison near the capital Abuja from which hundreds of inmates, including dozens of prominent jihadists, escaped.

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