Listen to your Arab educated "Islamic scholar" and your Friday sermon.
Reporting from Maiduguri, Nigeria -- The Nigerian army launched an assault Tuesday against "Taliban" militants fighting to establish radical Islamic rule in the north of the country, in an escalation of clashes that reportedly have left hundreds dead.
The rebels, armed with machetes, guns and bows and arrows, had attacked police stations and targeted police and government officials in the predominantly Muslim north Sunday and Monday.
In response, President Umaru Yar'Adua sent in the army to the city of Maiduguri to shell the home of Mohammed Yusuf, the soft-spoken preacher who leads the Boko Haram sect, known here as the Taliban. The army also attacked a mosque in the city.
Black smoke hung above Maiduguri, which throbbed with machine-gun and mortar fire, as the soldiers moved in. Gunfire continued overnight.
Shops and other businesses were closed. Children at a school near the militants' headquarters fled in terror. Many residents took shelter in the Maiduguri police headquarters, which had been attacked Monday in one of a series of apparently coordinated assaults in four northern states.
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