Vanguard (Lagos)

22 June 2012

Nigeria: Captured Mastermind of UN Building Bombing Is Dead

Abuja — Habib Bama, the wanted Boko Haram member, who was shot and arrested by the Joint Task Force (JTF) in a gun battle in Damaturu on Thursday is dead.

Also the United Nation on Friday said that the Islamist militant group Boko Haram could be responsible for crimes against humanity in Nigeria.

A competent source at the State Security Service (SSS) confirmed Habib Bama's death on Friday in Abuja.

The source said that the suspect died in an undisclosed hospital in Damaturu, Yobe on Friday.

The source as said, "Bama was fatally wounded" in the Thursday gun battle with the JTF.

The SSS had alleged that he masterminded the bombing of some public institutions.

They include the Mogadishu Cantonment, Police Force Headquarters, UN building and the St. Theresa's Catholic, Madala in Niger State.

The bombings took place between Dec. 31, 2010 and Aug. 26, 2011.

He was declared wanted by the SSS on Feb. 15 for "crime against the state."

Boko Haram attacks may be crimes against humanity: UN

The Islamist militant group Boko Haram could be responsible for crimes against humanity in Nigeria, the UN said on Friday.

The High Commissioner for Human Rights is "extremely concerned" by the recent attacks on churches in Kaduna province and "tit-for-tat" reprisals by Christians which since June 17 have left more than 100 people dead, said Rupert Colville, spokesman for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) told reporters.

Boko Haram has said it was behind the attacks.

"Members of Boko Haram ... if judged to have committed widespread or systematic attacks against a civilian population -- including on grounds such as religion or ethnicity -- are likely to be found guilty of crimes against humanity," said Colville.

"Deliberate acts leading to population 'cleansing' on grounds of religion or ethnicity could also amount to a crime against humanity," he said.

The group is also blamed for bomb and gun attacks, mainly in Nigeria's northeast, that have claimed more than 1,000 lives since mid-2009.

The sect's attacks have grown increasingly sophisticated and have spread from the group's base in the northeast across the wider north and down to the capital Abuja, in the centre of the country.

It claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing of UN headquarters in Abuja in August that killed at least 25 people and a suicide attack on the Abuja office of one of the country's most prominent newspapers.

Its deadliest attack yet occurred in the northern city of Kano in January, when at least 185 people died in coordinated bombings and shootings.

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