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Blasts, gunshots rock Nigeria's restive city: source

Nigeria's Maiduguri -focal point of Islamist Boko Haram insurgency- hit by three explosions Friday; officials have yet to disclose information on casualties

AFP , Friday 11 May 2012
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Three explosions and gunshots rocked Nigeria's restive city of Maiduguri, the hotbed of deadly Islamist insurgency, but it was unclear if anyone was hurt, security sources said Friday.

"In the late hours we had two explosions followed by sporadic gunshots. I don't have any further information now on casualties," a security official, who did not want to be named, told AFP of the incident on Thursday night.

He said the attack happened near a church in an area where a mosque owned by Boko Haram was razed during a 2009 crackdown on the Islamist group.

AFP saw truckloads of soldiers deployed to the area of the attack on Friday morning.

The military and residents reported a third blast on Thursday at a different area of the city.

"There was a blast in an open field by the riverside. We still don't know who the target was but nobody was hurt," military spokesman Sagir Musa told AFP.

Residents said it happened near a football field where a match was being played and caused people to flee.

Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state and the home base of Boko Haram, has seen some of the worst violence blamed on the extremist sect, which has focused its attacks on the mainly Muslim north.

Boko Haram's increasingly bloody insurgency has claimed more than 1,000 lives since mid-2009.

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