Authorities say soldiers have found and safely detonated a car bomb in a northeast Nigeria city that's the spiritual home to a radical Islamist sect.

Col. Victor Ebhaleme, the head of military operations in the area, told journalists Wednesday that soldiers discovered the car that morning in the city of Maiduguri in a neighborhood that has seen attacks by the sect known as Boko Haram.

Boko Haram is blamed for killing at least 286 people so far this year, according to an Associated Press count. At least 185 people died in the sect's coordinated assault in January on Kano, the largest city of Nigeria's north.

On Tuesday, a police anti-bomb squad member died in the city of Kaduna after an explosive detonated inside a plastic bag he was examining. No one has claimed responsibility for that attack.