Explosion targets brothels, taverns in northern Nigeria

AFP , Monday 11 Jul 2011

An explosive device went off in a red-light district in a northern Nigerian city but caused no casualties, residents and journalists said Monday. The device, believed to be home-made, went off Sunday in the Obalande district of the city notorious for its brothels, taverns and a cluster of hotels.

"The explosive was concealed in a refuse drum kept in a ditch near a culvert and it went off when fun-seekers were having good time," Femi Adesina, a resident nearby, told AFP.

"Although no one was injured in the explosion, it caused a stampede as people took to their heels and abandoned the area," he said on the phone from Kaduna.A Kaduna-based journalist, Abdullahi Kaura Abubakar, who visited the area Monday said the explosion only damaged a section of the culvert near the refuse drum in which the device was planted.

Police authorities in Kaduna were not available for comment. Kaduna, the erstwhile capital of Nigeria's northern region, has witnessed seven explosions since the April general elections largely blamed on the Boko Haram Islamist sect.

Boko Haram launched a short-lived armed rebellion in 2009 in a doomed bid to establish an Islamic state in parts of the north. The uprising was crushed by the military, leaving hundreds, mostly sect members, dead and the sect's mosque and headquarters in ruins.

Boko Haram has been blamed for a wave of gun and bomb attacks, targetting military and police personnel, community and religious leaders as well as politicians in the past year.

Awwal Adam Albany, a Muslim cleric based in the nearby city of Zaria, is standing trial for allegedly masterminding some of the bomb blasts.

Sunday, an explosion near a church outside the Nigerian capital Abuja killed at least three people, officials said, the latest in a spate of deadly blasts to hit Africa's most populous nation with 155 million people.

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