Car bomb kills seven in northeast Nigeria - witness

by Reuters
Tuesday, 14 January 2014 14:44 GMT

(Adds details, witness quote, background)

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria Jan 14 (Reuters) - At least seven people were killed on Tuesday when a car bomb exploded in Nigeria's northeastern city of Maiduguri, a witness said, the latest violence in a region beset by an Islamist insurgency.

The bomb exploded outside the state television offices, civil servant Abubakar Zakariya told Reuters, adding he saw seven bodies and several people receiving medical treatment. It was not immediately clear if the offices were the target.

Another witness said the bomb, which went off around 1:25 p.m., came from a three-wheeled rickshaw taxi, known locally as tricycles.

"I saw two boys on the ground and their bodies cut into pieces, two other cars immediately caught fire and I ran away because there was too much blood," local resident Aisha Hassan told Reuters.

Tuesday is public holiday in Nigeria when millions of Muslims are marking the Prophet Mohammad's birthday.

Maiduguri is the capital of Borno state and the focal point of an insurgency being waged by Boko Haram, a radical sect that wants to create an Islamic state in the north of Africa's most populous nation and top oil exporter.

President Goodluck Jonathan has been trying to crush Boko Haram's four-year rebellion with an intensified military campaign since May last year. Violence had been largely confined to more remote rural areas in recent months. (Reporting by Lanre Ola in Maiduguri and Isaac Abrak in Kaduna; Writing by Joe Brock; Editing by Alison Williams)

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