Nigeria soccer fans stampede after bomb

2012-04-25 20:24

Jos - Attacks in restive central Nigeria killed five people in a village and another died in the city of Jos, where a blast aslo wounded nine soccer fans, police and officials said on Wednesday.

The explosion in Jos took place outside a centre as spectators were leaving after watching the European Champions League semi-final between Barcelona and Chelsea late on Tuesday.

"So far we have nine people injured in the stampede that followed the blast outside the soccer viewing centre," police spokesperson Samuel Dabai told AFP.

Military spokesperson Captain Markus Mdahyelya said a body was found near the scene, but could not say if it was linked to the explosion.

The gun attack occurred in the mainly Christian village of Gwa-Rim, with the gunmen thought be from the mainly Muslim Fulani ethnic group. A number of people were also wounded.

"Five people, including two children, were killed around eight o'clock last night in Gwa-Rim village by suspected Fulani herdsmen," Plateau state government spokesperson Pam Ayuba told AFP.

"The gunmen went from house to house and shot their victims dead."

According to Mdahyelya, three other people were killed in the Barkin Ladi area of central Nigeria on Sunday when unidentified gunmen ambushed their car.

Thousands of people have been killed in deadly cycles of sectarian clashes between Muslim and Christian ethnic groups in central Nigeria in recent years.

1 000 dead

Jos, the capital of Plateau state, lies in the so-called middle belt region dividing the mainly Muslim north and predominantly Christian south of Africa's most populous nation.

In recent months, bomb blasts have occurred more frequently in central Nigeria, with many blamed on Islamist group Boko Haram, whose main area of operation is the country's northeast.

In another incident late on Tuesday in the northeastern city of Damaturu, gunmen killed five people, including a police officer and a politician, at a bar in an area previously hit by a bomb blast blamed on the Islamists.

Three gunmen stormed the bar and shot dead their victims as they sat around a table, a witness told AFP.

Police could not be reached for comment, but a doctor at a state-run Damaturu hospital said five bodies with gunshot wounds were deposited at the morgue late on Tuesday.

Although no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, Boko Haram was blamed for an explosion at a nearby open-air bar in January that wounded several people.

The group has also been blamed for other attacks in Yobe state, where Damaturu is the capital, including co-ordinated bombings and gun assaults targeting security forces in Damaturu in November that killed about 100 people.

Boko Haram's insurgency, mainly in northern Nigeria, has left more than 1 000 people dead since mid-2009.

Read more on:    boko haram  |  nigeria  |  west africa

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