by Staff Writers
Kano, Nigeria (AFP) Aug 5, 2012
A suicide bomber in a car rammed into a military patrol on Sunday in the northeastern Nigerian city of Damaturu, killing himself, at least six soldiers and a civilian, the state police boss confirmed.
"He detonated the bomb he was carrying in his car, killing himself. Six soldiers were also killed, nine others were injured and are in hospital," Patrick Egbuniwe, the Yobe state police commissioner, told AFP.
"One civilian was killed and another one injured," he added.
A security source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, earlier said the attacker and five soldiers died in the explosion.
There was no immediate claim for the attack, but it was similar to scores of others carried out by radical Islamist group Boko Haram, whose insurgency has killed hundreds in Nigeria.
Egbuniwe provided a slightly different version of events, saying the suicide bomber was being chased by a military patrol vehicle and the driver detonated the bomb and blew himself up when soldiers closed in on him.
However, the security source said the bomber in a sport-utility vehicle had been parked along the roadside and rammed into the multiple vehicle military convoy when it passed, affecting two of the vehicles.
Damaturu is the capital of Yobe state, which has been hard hit by attacks blamed on Boko Haram.
Sunday's attack follows a suicide bomber's attempt to assassinate Yobe state's top traditional Muslim leader, the Emir of Fika, on Friday.
The bomber sought to approach the emir after Friday prayers in the city of Potiskum but was pushed away. He blew himself up and wounded a number of others.
Authorities have been carrying out raids since the attempted attack in a bid to arrest suspected members of Boko Haram, which has claimed to be fighting for the creation of an Islamic state in Nigeria's mainly Muslim north.
The group is thought to include various factions with differing aims, however, and demands have repeatedly shifted.
In a video posted to YouTube on Saturday, the suspected leader of Boko Haram criticised US President Barack Obama over Washington's decision to label him a "global terrorist".
It was unclear when the video was made, but it marked the first time Abubakar Shekau publicly addressed the terrorist designation slapped on him by the United States in June.
In addition to Shekau, the US State Department also announced the designations for Abubakar Adam Kambar and Khalid al-Barnawi -- both who were said to be linked to Boko Haram and Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).
Members of Boko Haram are believed to have received training from AQIM in northern Mali, and Western countries have been watching closely for signs of further cooperation.
Some US lawmakers have been pushing Obama's administration to label Boko Haram as a whole a terrorist organisation, but American diplomats have stressed that the group remains domestically focused.
They also say deep poverty and a lack of infrastructure in Nigeria's north must be addressed as part of the solution to the violence.
Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation and largest oil producer, is roughly divided between a mainly Muslim north and predominately Christian south.
Africa News - Resources, Health, Food
Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.
France would back African intervention in Mali: minister
Lorient, France (AFP) Aug 4, 2012
France would back an African military intervention in Islamist-held northern Mali, Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Saturday. But even if he believed such an operation was inevitable - and desirable - it was not for France to take the lead, he added. "It is not for France to take the military initiative in Mali," he told journalists during a visit to Lorient in northwest Fra ... read more
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2012 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|