Maiduguri, Nigeria: At least eleven people were killed and 26 others were injured in a suicide attack on a police convoy in eastern Nigeria on Monday. The latest attack comes a day after gunmen attacked Christian worship services Sunday at a university campus and a church in northern Nigeria, killing at least 21 people.
The attack targeted police commissioner Mamman Sule who was being driven in a convoy toward his offices, said police spokesman Ibiang Mbaseki. The bomber missed injuring the top police official, but the explosives caused massive damage at a roadside market and blew out the glass windows of the nearby state Ministry of Finance building, witnesses said.
Rescue officials collected 11 corpses after the attack, according to a report by the Nigerian Red Cross. The dead included the suicide bomber, the Red Cross report said.
Speaking to journalists after the attack, Sule said officers would immediately begin an investigation into the attack. He also said only three people died, though police and the military routinely offer lower casualty numbers to make attacks appear less serious than what they are.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. However, the Islamist sect Boko Haram, which wants to carve an Islamic state out of Nigeria, has been blamed for many such previous attacks.
Boko Haram is waging a growing sectarian battle with Nigeria's weak central government, using suicide car bombs and assault rifles in attacks across the country's predominantly Muslim north and around its capital, Abuja. Those killed have included Christians, Muslims and government officials. The sect has been blamed for killing more than 450 people this year alone, according to an Associated Press count.
Story first published:
April 30, 2012 20:14 IST