Blasts kill 2 in restive northeast Nigeria city

AP News
Posted: Oct 10, 2011 1:15 PM
Blasts kill 2 in restive northeast Nigeria city

Two people were killed after suspected members of a radical Muslim sect set off two bombs in a northeastern Nigerian city where fear and insecurity persist, authorities said Monday.

A blast Monday morning near an after-hours market in the city of Maiduguri killed a soldier, said Joint Military Taskforce spokesman Col. Victor Ebhaleme. A civilian also died after reaching the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, a mortuary attendant said. Two other soldiers were wounded by the blast, Ebhaleme said.

Another blast hit about 10 miles (16 kilometers) away on Sunday afternoon, injuring one person and destroying a patrol vehicle parked in front of a mosque, he said.

A witness at the after-hours market, who did not give his name for fear of reprisals, said the military burned down several shops there after accusing market traders of allowing Boko Haram sect members to hide bombs in their stalls.

Ebhaleme said some residents had been "harboring suspects," but he denied the claims that soldiers had torched shops.

Boko Haram, whose name means "Western education is sacrilege" in the local Hausa language, has carried out increasingly violent sectarian attacks over the last year.

Residents in the city of Maiduguri live in fear of the radical sect held responsible for a spate of bombings in recent months. They also fear reprisal attacks by a taskforce, which includes policemen, soldiers and other security officers deployed to the city and surrounding villages since June.

Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the Aug. 26 car bombing at the United Nations headquarters in Nigeria, killing 23 people and wounding 116 others.