Suicide blast kills two at police Headquarters in Maiduguri

Suicide blast kills two at police HQ in Maiduguri

A suicide blast at the police headquarters in restive city of
Maiduguri Friday killed at least two policemen and wounded six other
people, authorities and witnesses said. It was the latest violence to hit the tense northeastern city that
has been at the centre of Islamist group Boko Haram’s insurgency, which
has killed more than 1,000 people since mid-2009.

“A suicide bomber tried to force his way into the police
headquarters… However, he rammed the car into sand-filled drums outside
headquarters and his car exploded,” a police source said.

“We have some casualties, but we’re trying to sort out the extent of fatalities and the injured.”
A witness reported seeing the bodies of two policemen.

Another witness said he saw five wounded policemen and what appeared
to be an injured pregnant woman being taken away to hospital.

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A hospital source confirmed that the
bodies of two policemen had been brought in as well as the six wounded
mentioned by the witness.

“At the moment, we have two bodies of policemen brought to the
hospital from the suicide attack at the police headquarters,” the nurse
said on condition of anonymity.
“Six people, comprising five policemen and a pregnant woman, were brought with injuries from the explosion.”

The state police commissioner confirmed the explosion, but declined
to provide further details, saying he was at the hospital where wounded
had been taken.

The bloody attack was the latest to hit Maiduguri, the city where
Boko Haram’s mosque and headquarters were located until they were
destroyed in a 2009 military assault.

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In August, a suicide bomber sought to attack the same building — the
police headquarters for Borno state — but he was shot dead by
authorities.

Security has been extremely tight in the area in recent months,
including checkpoints and road traffic restrictions. A special military
task force has put hard-hit areas of the city in lockdown.

The city has been hit by repeated bombings and shootings, often
targeting security forces. Thousands of residents have fled the
spiralling violence.

On Tuesday, Nigerian soldiers killed at least 16 militants when they
moved into an area of Maiduguri where Boko Haram members were believed
to be hiding. Gunfire and blasts rocked the area for several hours.

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Boko Haram’s attacks have grown increasingly sophisticated and have
affected a wider area, spreading from their base in the northeast across
the wider north and down to the capital Abuja, in the centre of the
country.

It claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing of UN headquarters in
Abuja in August which killed at least 25 people as well as a suicide
attack on the Abuja office of one of the country’s most prominent
newspapers.

The group has continually widened its targets, which have included
security forces, churches and police headquarters in the capital.

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation and largest oil producer, is
roughly divided between a mainly Muslim north and predominantly
Christian south

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