Nigeria Bombing Suspects Killed in Blasts Near Maiduguri

Four suspected suicide bombers in Nigeria targeting a state oil company facility died in blasts outside the northeastern city of Maiduguri, the army said.

The attackers were shot by troops as they raced in four explosive-laden vehicles to the fuel depot used by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corp., Major-General Chris Olukolade, a spokesman for the military said in an e-mailed statement.

Five soldiers were wounded and civilian casualties were unknown, Olukolade said. On March 25, a suicide bomber suspected of belonging to militant Islamist sect Boko Haram killed at least eight people in Maiduguri, in Borno state.

Militants have attacked Maiduguri several times this year, including a March 14 raid on the Giwa army barracks, for which Boko Haram’s leader claimed responsibility in what he said was an attempt to free 2,000 of his followers. The group is waging a violent campaign to impose Islamic rule on Africa’s biggest oil producer and most populous country of about 170 million.

Troops from Nigeria’s eastern neighbor, Cameroon, seized arms near its border with Chad that were “apparently meant for use by terrorists operating in Nigeria,” including rifles, mortar bombs and home-made bombs, Olukolade said in another statement today.

The Nigerian military has said some Boko Haram suspects carry out attacks in Nigeria before retreating into Cameroon.

Separately, Muslim protesters yesterday burned a church and a school in Katsina state in north Nigeria, alleging blasphemy by a teacher.

Amnesty International said yesterday that at least 1,500 people have died in the conflict between Boko Haram and Nigerian security forces this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Daniel Magnowski in Abuja at dmagnowski@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Nasreen Seria at nseria@bloomberg.net Dulue Mbachu, James Kraus

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