Deaths in suicide attacks in north Nigeria

Suspected Boko Haram suicide bombers kill at least 15 people in attack on state oil company facility in Borno state.

    Suspected Boko Haram suicide bombers have killed 15 civilians in an attack on a state oil company facility in northern Nigeria, when soldiers at a checkpoint opened fire on their explosive-packed vehicles, the military said.

    Seventeen civilians and five soldiers were wounded by the blasts on Tuesday, which also destroyed eight vehicles in Borno state, Chris Olukolade, a defence ministry spokesman, said.

    There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

    Olukolade said the bombers, believed to be from the Boko Haram rebel group, were driving towards the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation facility at Mule.

    Four bombers died in the attack. Mule is on the outskirts of Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state and the cradle of the rebel insurgency.

    "Three of the four explosive-laden vehicles were demobilised by shots fired at them by soldiers at the checkpoint, shortly before the explosions that rocked the area," Olukolade said.

    "A total of 15 civilians including a member of a youth vigilante group died," he added.

    Violence in Borno state is worse than at any time during its four-and-half-year-old insurgency, residents say.

    Boko Haram, fighting for an Islamic state in Nigeria, have in the past year broadened their range of targets beyond security forces, government officials and Christians to include school children and other civilians, sometimes massacring whole villages and abducting girls.

    A military crackdown since last May has failed to rout the insurgency, which remains the leading security threat to Africa's top oil producer and a serious headache for President Goodluck Jonathan ahead of February 2015 elections.

    The rebels' use of explosive devices is on the rise again. Suspected Boko Haram fighters drove a car packed with explosives into a police patrol in Maiduguri a week ago.

    They also bombed a crowded marketplace on March 27 near the town of Bama.

    SOURCE: Reuters


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How different voting systems work around the world

    How different voting systems work around the world

    Nearly two billion voters in 52 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    How the art world's hunger for ancient artefacts is destroying a centuries-old culture. A journey across the Himalayas.