At least 10 people were killed late yesterday by a bomb blast at a hotel in the Bayan Gari district of Nigeria’s northeastern city of Bauchi, police said.
Fourteen others are receiving treatment after being wounded in the explosion, Haruna Muhammad, a spokesman for Bauchi state police, said by phone today.
Nigerian security forces are struggling to contain a campaign of violence by the Islamist Boko Haram group, which is fighting to impose Islamic law on Africa’s most populous nation. A blast at a bus park in the capital, Abuja, killed at least 75 people on April 14, the same day the militants kidnapped more than 200 schoolgirls in Borno state.
Separately, a blast was averted at a mosque in Kano, Nigeria’s biggest northern city, after the police discovered 13 explosive devices in a car following a tip off by worshippers, Police Commissioner Aderenle Shinaba told reporters today.
“The explosives were found primed and waiting to be detonated by these extremists, when worshipers gathered to pray,” he said. “The destruction would have been massive if they were successfully detonated.”
Boko Haram, which means “western education is a sin” in the Hausa language, drew international outrage when it kidnapped schoolgirls from the town of Chibok in Borno state. Most of the girls are still missing, and countries including the U.S. and U.K. are aiding the search and rescue effort.
Nigeria, a country of about 170 million people with Africa’s biggest economy, is roughly divided between a mainly Muslim north and predominately Christian south. President Goodluck Jonathan has said Boko Haram is part of al-Qaeda and poses a threat to countries throughout the region.
“My government and our security and intelligence services have spared no resources, have not stopped and will not stop until the girls are returned home and the thugs who took them are brought to justice,” Jonathan wrote in a June 26 op-ed in the Washington Post.