Nigeria: Blast near mosque kills at least 4

Last Updated: Saturday, December 31, 2011 - 11:29

Kano: An explosion killed four
people in the violence-torn city Nigerian city of Maiduguri as
Muslim faithful left a mosque after Friday prayers, the
military and residents said.

The blast comes after a series of Christmas attacks blamed
on Islamist sect Boko Haram killed at least 42 people, most of
them outside a Catholic church near the capital Abuja, and
raised fears of reprisals from Christians.

"There was a loud blast near the mosque just after the
Friday prayers as people were trooping out of the mosque," one
resident said. "Everybody scampered to safety, leading to a

Another resident, Mohammed Bukar, reported four dead and
others wounded.

"There was confusion following the blast," he said. "When
the dust settled, I saw four dead people being loaded into a
vehicle along with some wounded in the blast."

A spokesman for a military task force in the region
confirmed the blast but could not immediately provide details.
"It`s true there was a blast near Monday market while
people were leaving the mosque. We don`t have details yet,"
said Lieutenant Colonel Hassan Mohammed.

Boko Haram has carried out scores of attacks in Nigeria,
most of them in the northeast. The group`s targets in that
region have included Muslim leaders.

Thousands have fled Maiduguri fearing further attacks by
Boko Haram and heavy-handed military raids, with soldiers
accused of killing civilians and burning their homes after
bomb blasts.

Christian leaders have expressed mounting frustration over
the Nigerian authorities` inability to stop attacks that have
killed hundreds of people this year.

They have said they will be forced to defend themselves if
the authorities do not address the problem.

Amid the mounting concerns over reprisals, a bomb was
thrown into an Arabic school on Tuesday in Delta state in
southern Nigeria, wounding six children and an adult.

Nigeria, Africa`s most populous nation, is roughly divided
between a mainly Muslim north and predominantly Christian


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First Published: Saturday, December 31, 2011 - 11:29

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