Nigeria security forces raid bomb factory in Kano

KANO, (Reuters) – Nigerian security forces discovered a bomb-making factory on Saturday in Kano, a northern city that has plagued by an Islamist insurgency, the secret service said.

Boko , a group styled on the Taliban, is waging an insurgency against Goodluck Jonathan’s government with the avowed aim of carving an Islamic state out of , a country of more than 160 million split roughly equally between Christians and Muslims.

The group has killed in gun and bomb attacks in the past two and a half years, mostly in the predominantly Muslim north, although it has struck central and the capital Abuja.

The director of the Kano branch of Nigeria’s State Security Services (SSS), Bassey Eteng, said the raid had uncovered 12 improvised bombs and bomb-making chemicals, more than 600 rounds of ammunition, military uniforms and eight AK-47 assault rifles.

“Most of the items recovered were going to be used to mount an attack on Sallah (Muslim holiday), according to our intelligence report,” Eteng said.

“There was no casualty of any party during the operations. An investigation to find the terrorists continues.”

A military push in the north appears to weakened the group. However, Jonathan’s critics say he relies too much on the military to defeat Boko , rather than addressing northerners’ grievances such as poverty and unemployment.

As Boko comes under pressure in its northeastern heartland, its attacks spread further afield. Suspected Islamists opened fire on Christian worshippers in the central state of Kogi on Monday, killing 19.

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