KANO, Nigeria: Nigerian authorities have boosted security for this weekend's Easter commemorations, fearing extremists will use the Christian holiday to carry out further attacks, officials said Wednesday.
Meanwhile, soldiers killed three suspected members of Islamist group Boko Haram in a shootout in the city of Kano on Tuesday night, said Army Lieutenant Iweha Ikedichi.
He alleged that security forces thwarted a plan by the suspects to carry out attacks in the city, which was hit by coordinated bombings and shootings in January which left at least 185 people dead.
Boko Haram has previously targeted Christians in attacks, including a Christmas bombing at a church outside the capital Abuja which killed at least 44 people.
Patrols, searches and checkpoints have already been boosted in Kano, the largest city in Nigeria's mainly Muslim north, ahead of Easter, while other arrangements were being put in place nationwide.
"We have information that these terrorists are planning a major attack in Kano as they did in January," Ikedichi told reporters in Kano.
"They are planning attacks against this holy weekend, during Easter celebration, which is why we intensify our operations."
National police spokesman Olusola Amore said all commands have been asked to put special security arrangements in place for Easter.