Breaking News Bar
updated: 1/14/2014 9:38 AM

Pandemonium after explosion in north Nigeria city

hello
Success - Article sent! close
 
Associated Press

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria -- A car bomb exploded at a military post in a commercial area in a northeastern Nigerian city on Tuesday, causing pandemonium with blood-spattered bystanders running away and vehicles colliding as drivers rushed to flee.

A suicide bomber is suspected in the lunchtime blast in Maiduguri, the birthplace of the Boko Haram, an Islamic extremist network that has been terrorizing northeast Nigeria. There was no immediate casualty toll.

Soldiers started firing automatic rifles in the air after the explosion sent a dense column of dark smoke into the air. The explosion occurred at 1:30 p.m. right in front of a large military post called JTF Sector 4. A nearby vehicle also burst into flames.

A woman who may have lost a loved one raised her hands above her head and shouted: "I am finished, I am finished!"

Thousands of people have been killed in the insurgency affecting parts of Nigeria's predominantly Muslim northern half. President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in May to quell it and thousands of security forces were deployed to the area. They swiftly drove militants out of Maiduguri and most other cities but the insurgents have begun striking back in the urban centers.

On Dec. 2, hundreds of Boko Haram fighters in trucks and a stolen armored personnel carrier attacked an air force base and international airport on the outskirts of Maiduguri in one of the insurgent group's most daring attacks. Two helicopters and three decommissioned military aircraft were heavily damaged in the attack.

A U.S. travel advisory issued earlier in January noted that "Late 2013 saw an increase in Boko Haram attacks and clashes with Nigerian government security forces in northern Nigeria. ... Boko Haram is known to descend on whole towns, robbing banks and businesses, attacking police and military installations, and setting fire to private homes."

The Islamic extremist uprising began in 2009 and threatens the security and cohesion of Africa's biggest oil producer and its most populous nation, with more than 160 million people. The extremists say they want to impose Islamic Shariah law across all of Nigeria.

In one of the group's highest-profile attacks, a Boko Haram member detonated a car bomb at the United Nations main offices in Nigeria's capital, Abuja, on Aug. 26, 2011, killing 25 people and wounding more than 100 others. The United States last year designated Boko Haram a terrorist organization.

Share

Interested in reusing this article?

Custom reprints are a powerful and strategic way to share your article with customers, employees and prospects.

The YGS Group provides digital and printed reprint services for Daily Herald. Complete the form to the right and a reprint consultant will contact you to discuss how you can reuse this article.

Need more information about reprints? Visit our Reprints Section for more details.

Contact information ( * required )

Name * Company Telephone * E-mail *

Message (optional)

Success - Reprint request sent Click to close
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.
    help here