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Two Suicide Bombers Kill 7 in Northeastern Nigeria Explosion

Aug. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Two suicide bombers suspected of being members of the Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram killed themselves after setting off an explosion in the northeastern town of Damaturu, police said.

The bombing killed six soldiers and one civilian, Toyin Gbadegeshin, a Yobe state police spokesman, said by text message. About nine other soldiers were injured from the blast, he said.

“The incident occurred this morning when some military personnel on routine patrol suspected a particular vehicle to be carrying some dangerous weapons,” Patrick Egbuniwe, a police chief in Damaturu, Yobe’s state capital, said by phone. “They tried to stop the vehicle before the occupants, who are suspected Boko Haram members, ignited an explosive which killed two of the suspects.”

Nigeria, Africa’s biggest oil producer, has faced a spate of bomb and gun attacks since 2009 in Abuja, the country’s capital, and mainly Muslim north. In January, President Goodluck Jonathan said Boko Haram poses a more serious threat to the country than the 1967-1970 Biafra civil war.

The group, whose name means “Western education is a sin” in the Hausa language, wants Islamic rule in Africa’s most populous nation, who’s more than 160 million people are almost evenly split between the north and a predominantly Christian south.

Boko Haram claimed responsibility for suicide bombings in the northwestern city of Sokoto on July 30 that killed three people and another attack the same day on the house of Vice President Namadi Sambo in northern Kaduna state. Sambo wasn’t at his home at the time of the attack in which a shoe-shiner was killed with a stray bullet and a policeman was injured.

To contact the reporters on this story: Gbenga Akingbule in Maiduguri at gakingbule@bloomberg.net; Ardo Hazzad in Bauchi at ahazzad@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dick Schumacher at dschumacher@bloomberg.net

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