MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (AP) — Motorcycle-riding gunmen shot and killed the dominant gubernatorial candidate in a northeast Nigeria state and six others Friday, throwing a region already under attack by a radical Muslim sect into a panic.
Families hid inside their homes and shops shut their doors as police cordoned off large neighborhoods searching for the killers of Modu Fannami Gubio. He was a candidate with the All Nigeria People's Party for the upcoming April elections.
Gubio had left Friday prayers in Maiduguri, a city in Nigeria's Muslim, and was walking to his father's home when the gunmen attacked, said Borno state police commissioner Ibrahim Abubakar.
Two plainclothes police officers and four others also died in the attack, Abubakar said. No arrests had been made Friday afternoon, though paramilitary police patrolled the streets and shut down traffic.
Neighborhoods "have been condoned off by the police, including parts of the palace of Shehu of Borno in pursuit of the fleeing gunmen that killed seven people today in broad daylight," the commissioner told journalists.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the killing. However, the attack mirrors the style used by a radical Muslim sect operating in the area called Boko Haram.
Boko Haram, which means "Western education is sacrilege" in the local Hausa language, has attacked churches and engineered a massive prison break in recent months.