Bloomberg News

Explosion Injures Soldiers in Nigerian City of Maiduguri

July 06, 2011

(Updates with comment from army spokesman in second paragraph.)

July 6 (Bloomberg) -- An explosion near a military check- point in Nigeria’s northeastern city of Maiduguri injured several soldiers, an army commander said, the latest in a series of attacks blamed on Islamic militants.

“Although no one was killed, some of my men sustained injuries,” Major-General Jack Nwaogbo, commander of a military task force in charge of security in the region, said today by phone. Streets around the city have been blocked for a “cordon and search operation,” he said.

In a separate incident, police shot and wounded five suspected Islamic militants after a raid on their hideout in the northeastern Bauchi state, Mohammed Barau, a police spokesman, told reporters today in the state capital. Suspected Islamic gunmen also attacked a police station yesterday in Toro, about 100 kilometers (62 miles) from Bauchi city, stealing weapons, Ahmed Getso, a spokesman for the local government, told reporters.

Nigerian authorities blame Boko Haram, an Islamic sect that draws inspiration from Afghanistan’s Taliban movement, for a spate of bombings and killings targeting government officials and security forces in Africa’s top oil producer. Suspected militants killed 10 people in bomb and gun attacks in Maiduguri on July 3, Nwaogbo said.

The group also claimed responsibility for a blast on June 16 at Nigeria’s police headquarters in the capital, Abuja, which killed at least five people and injured 11.

Boko Haram has set conditions for peace talks with President Goodluck Jonathan that include the introduction of Sharia law in the country’s northern states, Usman al-Zawahiri, a spokesman for the group, said on June 13.

More than 14,000 people died in ethnic and religious clashes between 1999 and 2009 in Nigeria, Africa’s top oil producer and most populous nation, according to the Brussels- based International Crisis Group.

--Editors: Philip Sanders, Karl Maier

To contact the reporters on this story: Ardo Hazzad in Bauchi at ahazzad@bloomberg.net; Elisha Bala-Gbogbo in Abuja at ebalagbogbo@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net.


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