Deadly blast hits northern Nigeria

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REUTERS

The victim of a bomb explosion at the business district receives treatment at the National Hospital emergency ward in Abuja. Picture: Afolabi Sotunde

Kano, Nigeria -

An explosion in the red light district of northern Nigeria's Bauchi city has killed 10 people and injured 14 others, police said on Saturday.

The cause of the late Friday blast was not immediately clear, but Boko Haram Islamists have attacked Bauchi repeatedly during their five-year uprising aimed at creating a strict Islamic state in the north.

Bauchi state police spokesman Mohammed Haruna said the targeted building in the Bayan Gari neighbourhood on the outskirts of the city was widely known as a brothel.

“Ten people were confirmed dead, while 14 others sustained various degrees of injury,” Haruna said, adding that the explosion went off at roughly 10.00pm (21.00 GMT).

“The entire area has been cordoned off and (the) scene secured,” Haruna said. Bomb attacks on targets which Boko Haram has branded sinful -including bars, churches and schools teaching a Western curriculum - have formed a major part of the insurgency.

Nigeria has estimated that more than 10 000 people have been killed since the conflict began in 2009. The violence has escalated in recent months, with more than 2 000 deaths recorded since the start of the year.

The capital Abuja has been hit with three separate bomb attacks since mid-April, most recently on Wednesday when 24 people were killed in a blast at a popular shopping plaza in the heart of the city.

Police had initially given a death toll of 21 for the attack, but the health ministry revised those figures upwards on Saturday.

In Kano, the largest city in the mainly Muslim north, a bomb planted in the parking lot of a public health college killed eight people on Monday.

The Islamist extremists have received unprecedented international attention in recent weeks following their April 14 abduction of more than 200 teenage girls from the town of Chibok in the north-east.

The gruesome mass abduction has drawn condemnation from governments and prominent people worldwide and offers of military help from major world powers to boost Nigeria's counter-insurgency effort. - Sapa-AFP


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