Huge explosion near Nigerian barracks

2012-04-26 07:54

Kano - A bomb blast outside a military base on Wednesday in the northern Nigerian city of Kano caused panic but no injuries, while police earlier in the day discovered a large cache of explosive materials.

The homemade bomb planted in an open sewer across from Bukavu military barracks caused people to flee and businesses to shut, a military spokesperson said.

Kano has been on edge since co-ordinated bombings and shootings in January claimed by Islamist group Boko Haram which killed 185 people, the group's deadliest attack yet.

"There was a huge explosion from a high-calibre IED [improvised explosive device] planted by unknown persons in an open drainage across the road from the barracks which caused a stampede," Lieutenant Iweha Ikedichi said.

"There were no casualties from the explosion which damaged a section of the drainage and shattered some glass of a one-storey building overlooking the drainage."

Earlier in the day, Kano state police chief Ibrahim Idris told reporters that policemen discovered three 50-kg sacks of TNT and PENT explosives abandoned in the streets on the outskirts of the city.

He said the explosives were valued at nine million naira ($56 250).

Idris speculated that the owners must have left them out of fear of being arrested at a security checkpoint.

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