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Nigerian police and military units carried out extrajudicial killings last year in the aftermath of clashes with members of a Muslim group in the north of the country, footage obtained by Al Jazeera appears to confirm.
An estimated 1,000 people were killed as Nigerian government forces fought Boko Haram in Borno, Yobe, Kano and Bauchi states in July and August of 2009. But the footage obtained by Al Jazeera shows that many of the deaths occurred once the fighting was over.
Elements of the police and army staged a follow-up operation in which house-to-house searches were conducted and individuals were apparently selected at random and taken to a police station.
Among those killed in the aftermath of the clashes between Boko Haram and the police, was Boko Haram leader Mohammed Yusuf. In the Al Jazeera footage, he is seen wearing handcuffs and surrounded by heavily armed police officers.
Nigerian police have said that Yusuf was killed while attempting to escape, but he died still wearing the handcuffs.
In another video, which was made available shortly after last year's fighting, Yusuf is shown inside the police station, his body covered with marks and bruises, as he is questioned about the organisation that he led.
It is not known whether the injuries were caused during the fighting, arrest, or detention.
The New York-based Human Rights Watch described Yusuf's death as "an extrajudicial killing".
"The extrajudicial killing of Mr Yusuf in police custody is a shocking example of the brazen contempt by the Nigerian police for the rule of law," Eric Guttschuss, the organisation's Nigeria researcher, said.
Boko Haram, which means "Western education is prohibited" in the local Hausa dialect, has called for the nationwide enforcement of a strict interpretation of Islamic law, or sharia, even among non-Muslims.
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