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Explosions rock northern Nigerian city

November 4, 2011 | 11:45 am

Boko
Explosions, including at least one suicide bombing, rocked Nigeria’s northeastern city of Maiduguri on Friday, according to news agencies, which cited government and military officials.

The attacks included an assault on a prominent military installation and a blast at a college where parents had arrived to pick up students, the Associated Press reported.

There were no immediate reports of fatalities, the news service reported, citing Nigerian authorities. No one claimed responsibility for the attacks, but suspicion fell on the radical Islamist sect, Boko Haram, which this year has killed more than 240 people through assassinations and bombings across Nigeria's Muslim north, according to an AP count.

One blast detonated about noon outside the El-Kanemi Theological College where parents had gathered, authorities told the AP. According to witnesses, ambulances carried away at least six wounded people from the scene.

A short time later, suicide bombers driving an SUV tried to enter the base of a military unit responsible for protecting the city from Boko Haram fighters, the news service reported, citing military sources.

The SUV failed to enter the gate of the compound so the explosives were detonated outside of the base, causing damage to several buildings on the compound. A few soldiers suffered minor injuries from the assault, military officials said.

Three other blasts occurred at other locations in Maiduguri, but no one was reported killed, the news service reported.

In August, Boko Haram, whose name means “Western education is sacrilege,” claimed responsibility for a suicide car bombing at the United Nations headquarters in Nigeria's capital, Abuja. That blast killed two dozen and injured scores more.

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-- Ann M. Simmons in Los Angeles

Photo: Suspected members of the Islamist sect Boko Haram, accused of being involved in the bombing of a U.N. building in Nigeria's capital in August, sit in court on Sept. 13. Credit: Afolabi Sotunde / Reuters

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