KANO, Nigeria (AFP) – Gunmen with explosives and rocket-propelled grenades attacked a police station in Nigeria's restive northeast, killing two officers and injuring another in an incident similar to previous raids by Islamist extremists, authorities said Thursday.
"The heavily armed gunmen headed to the police station and burnt it down using IEDs (improvised explosive devices) and RPGs before engaging our men in a shootout in which we lost two officers while a third sustained gunshot wounds," Adamawa state police spokesman Mohammed Ibrahim told AFP.
He said the attackers in cars and on motorcycles stormed Ga'anda village on Wednesday where they burnt down the police station with homemade bombs and grenades.
"Our officers were overpowered by the attackers who had superior firepower," he said, adding that a police patrol vehicle was also burnt in the attack that lasted two hours.
No arrest has been made, he added.
Residents of Ga'anda said some 20 gunmen had entered the village around 9:00 pm chanting "Allahu Akbar."
Nigerian authorities in May launched a military offensive aiming to end a deadly four-year insurgency by Islamist extremist group Boko Haram focused in the country's northeast.
Violence linked to the insurgency has left more than 3,600 dead since 2009, including killings by the security forces, who have been accused of major abuses.
The group has claimed to be fighting for the creation of an Islamic state in Africa's most populous nation and largest oil producer, though it is believed to have a number of factions with varying aims.
Nigeria's 160 million population is roughly divided between a mainly Christian south and mostly Muslim north.