08/28/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Nigerian Forces Shell Mosque As Violence Claims More Than 250 Lives

Nigerian forces have shelled a mosque and the home of a former Islamic fundamentalist leader as violence in the country continues, reports AFP.

The violence sparked off on Sunday in Bauchi, central Nigeria, between Islamic fundamentalists and Nigerian police, and has since been spreading across the country.

More than 250 people have been killed since Sunday, according to witnesses quoted by AFP.

Nigerian President Umaru Yar'Adua said that the situation is under control and that everything would be taken care of by the end of Tuesday, telling reporters that the insurgents would be dealt with "squarely and forthwith."

The northeastern city of Maiduguri has seen the heaviest casualties of the conflict and is currently under a police-imposed curfew.

The Nigerian 'Taliban' began its violent uprising against "immorality" and "infidelity" in clashes with Christians in November 2008, but poverty, according to AP is the root cause of the radical insurgency and ensuing violence as Nigeria's oil producing capacity has been reduced by diverse groups demanding a greater share of the wealth.

BBC reports that while a dozen Nigerian states have adopted Islamic Sharia Law since 1999, there has been no history of al-Qaeda activity in the country.

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