Bomb hits police convoy in eastern Nigeria, kills 11

Mon Apr 30, 2012 1:52pm GMT

By Ibrahim Mshelizza

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (Reuters) - A bomb blast struck a police chief's convoy in eastern Nigeria on Monday, killing 11 people, a witness and an official said, a day after attacks in other areas killed at least 19.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the bombing in the town of Jalingo but Islamist sect Boko Haram, which wants to carve an Islamic state out of Nigeria, has been blamed for many such previous attacks.

A string of bombings and shootings in the last five days has dampened hopes that arrests and killings of Boko Haram members by the military in recent weeks had stemmed its ability to carry out large-scale attacks in Africa's largest oil producer.

Jalingo is the capital of Taraba state, which borders Cameroon and had previously been spared the insurgency plaguing Nigeria's north.

"At least 11 people were killed and 22 people injured near police state headquarters Jalingo at 0830 (0730 GMT) when the police commissioner was on his way to office," said Ahmed Bello, a local Nigeria Red Cross official.

He said the blast happened between the state government finance office and the police headquarters.

Abubakar Moyoyo, a Jalingo businessman, told Reuters by phone he had seen 11 dead bodies at the scene.

The police commissioner, Mamman Sule, said his team were investigating whether he was the target of the attack. He confirmed three deaths and said the windscreen of his car had been shattered by the blast.   Continued...

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