Multiple Bomb Explosions Rock Maiduguri, Casualty Figure Uncertain

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bomb blastAmid victory songs over insurgents and negotiations by Nigerian government with Boko Haram militants, multiple bomb explosions struck a mosque and the area outside the building in the northeastern Nigerian city of Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, witnesses said on Sunday evening.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the explosions but they bore the hallmarks of Islamist militant group Boko Haram.

The blasts occurred at about 7 pm.

“There were three improvised explosive devices explosions at Gomari and Ajilari general area in Maiduguri at about 7:21 pm (local time),” military spokesman Sani Usman said in a statement.

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“Although details are not clear, it is important to note the attacks signify high level of desperation on the part of the Boko Haram terrorists,” he said.

Local residents spoke of hearing at least two explosions within a few minutes of each other in the restive city’s densely-populated Binta Sugar area.

“We heard the first sound around 7:40 pm (local time) shortly before we entered the mosque for the last prayers of the day,” said Musa, who lives in the nearby Bulunkutu neighbourhood.

“I later gathered the bomb blast occurred at Binta Sugar,” he said. A few minutes later, another bomb went off in the same area.

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“There was serious fireball after the second explosion,” added another local resident, Ndahi Mache.

It was not clear if there were any casualties but police, soldiers and civilian vigilantes have cordoned off the area, witnesses told AFP.

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