Three people have been killed by a bomb that exploded in Nigeria's northeastern town of Maiduguri, the army has said, the latest attack in the Boko Haram stronghold.

"An improvised explosive device targeted at a Joint Task Force patrol team exploded at Post Office roundabout about 1:00 pm," Sagir Musa, spokesman for the military force, said in a statement.

"The explosion led to the death of three civilians, including the bomber and wounded two others."

Boko Haram killed hundreds of people last year in an attempt to carve out an Islamic state in a country of 160 million split roughly equally between Christians and Muslims. Its main target is the security forces.

No group has so far claimed responsibility for Wednesday's attack.

Mali rebels

A French family were kidnapped just over the border in northern Cameroon on Tuesday and were driven into Nigeria by
their abductors, Cameroon officials have said. 

French President Francois Hollande said Boko Haram was behind the abduction of the three adults and four children. No group has taken responsibility.

An alleged al-Qaeda linked group called Ansaru, thought to have ties with Boko Haram, claimed responsibility for the kidnap of another seven foreigners in a separate incident in northern Nigeria's Bauchi state on Sunday.

The abductions highlight the risk to French nationals and their foreign allies since Paris sent forces to Mali to oust
rebels last month.

Source: Agencies