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Boko Haram claims suicide blasts at Nigeria police stations

Nigeria's Boko Haram claims responsibility for a series of violent operations including one that targeted Vice President Namadi Sambo

AFP , Wednesday 1 Aug 2012
Security forces view the scene of a bomb explosion at St. Theresa Catholic Church at Madalla, January 2012. (Photo: Reuters)

Nigeria's Boko Haram Islamists on Wednesday claimed suicide blasts at two police posts in the country's northwest and a separate attack at a home belonging to Vice President Namadi Sambo.

The statement also warned that Boko Haram would kill those recruited to spy on the group.Twin bombings on Monday in the city of Sokoto, the historic seat of Islam in the country, killed two people and wounded 30 others. The bombers also died in the blasts.

"We wish to extend our profound gratitude to Almighty Allah for giving us the opportunity to fulfill the promise we made on launching simultaneous attacks in Sokoto," said the statement from purported Boko Haram spokesman Abul Qaqa.

Qaqa has on several occasions similarly claimed attacks on behalf of the radical insurgent group, responsible for scores of gun and bomb attacks across northern and central Nigeria in recent months.

The statement also claimed that Boko Haram gunmen had fired on Sambo's home in the northern town of Zaria on Monday. One civilian was killed in the assault. No one lives at the house, which is undergoing repairs from damage inflicted during post-election riots in 2011. "We are responsible for the attacks ... at the residence of Namadi Sambo," said the statement written in Hausa.

In a message released last month, Qaqa said Boko Haram would "continue to hunt for government officials wherever they are; they will have no peace again." The group has previously targeted government installations.

Police in Kaduna state, where Zaria is a key town, said they had arrested two of the three gunmen suspected of carrying out the attack on Sambo's house. They were identified at an area hospital where one of the alleged assailants was being treated for injuries suffered during the raid, according to Kaduna state police spokesman Abubakar Balteh.

Boko Haram has been blamed for the deaths of more than 1,000 people since mid-2009.A 2009 military assault that left some 800 people dead put down an uprising by the group, but it re-emerged more than a year later with increasingly sophisticated attacks.

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