Death of Islamic Sect's Leader Confirmed.

Nigerian forces have killed an Islamist leader captured after an uprising that led to hundreds of deaths, with one police officer saying he pleaded for mercy before he was gunned down.

A senior police official said authorities killed the leader of the self-styled Taliban sect, Mohammed Yusuf, on Thursday after he tried to escape in the wake of an all-out assault by security forces to crush his movement, AFP reports.

A BBC reporter in the city was among journalists shown two films, one apparently showing Mr Yusuf making a confession; the other showing what appeared to be his body, riddled with bullets.

"Mohammed Yusuf was killed by security forces in a shootout while trying to escape," the regional police assistant inspector-general, Moses Anegbode, told Nigerian television.

A spokesman for the state governor was also quoted as saying that Mr Yusuf had been trying to escape, BBC News reports.

The spokesman for the police command in the northern city of Maiduguri, Isa Azare also confirmed this information: "He has been killed. You can come and see his body at the state police command headquarters," reports.