Nigeria Deports Islamist Sect Members

By Daily Graphic

Nigeria has deported 300 suspected members of an Islamist sect to neighbouring Niger after a bloody uprising in its Muslim-dominated north by a fundamentalist group, officials said.

The alleged members of the 'Darul Islam' (house of Islam in Arabic) sect to their country of origin is part of a government plan to repatriate foreign sect members, a senior immigration official told AFP yesterday.

The sect members, including women and children, were deported last Monday in trucks and buses from Minna, capital of the central Niger State.

They had 'no valid papers and proof of proper documentation and means of earning a living', Ibrahim Danladi Auta, said on telephone from Minna.

'They are the first batch of hundreds of foreigners we have planned to send back to their countires of origin after screening them and establishing their nationalities', Auta said.

About 1,500 policemen raided the sect's compound on Saturday in Mokwa, 100 kilometres (60 miles) from Minna, weeks after an uprising by a self-styled Taliban fundamentalist sect left 800 dead, Niger State Police Commissioner Mike Zuokumor said.

He said the action followed complaints by the state government that the activities of the group could cause a religious crisis in the state and fears of possible deadly violence like the uprising last month by the Boko Haram group.