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8 Killed in Nigeria ATM Bomb Blast

  • VOA News

Police in Nigeria say a suicide bomber has killed at least seven people at an ATM (automated teller machine) in the country's northeast.

Police say they believe a female suicide bomber carried out the attack Friday and say they have arrested four other suspects.

Police spokesman Muhammad Haruna says at least 10 people were also injured in the blast, which went off at a branch of the First Bank of Nigeria in the town of Azare, in Bauchi state.

Earlier, at least 16 civilians and dozens of militants were reported dead in the same region after a clash between soldiers and the radical group Boko Haram.

Witnesses tell VOA that Boko Haram fighters stormed the town of Malum Fatori on Wednesday, setting off a fierce battle that raged for more than 12 hours.

Modu Bukara, a trader in the town, says that afterward he counted 16 townspeople who had been killed. He says dozens of militants were killed by gunfire and an air raid.

Another resident, Aminu Ahmad, told VOA that Nigerian soldiers were assisted by troops from Chad, Niger and Cameroon who were stationed at a nearby multi-national barracks.

It was not clear after the fighting which side controlled the town, located about 200 kilometers away from Maiduguri, the Borno state capital.

Nigeria's neighbors have been helping the government in its fight against Boko Haram. The militant group, which is blamed for thousands of deaths over the past five years, says it wants to turn northern Nigeria into a strict Islamic state.

A recent cease-fire announced by the government appears to have collapsed, and the militants control a number of towns in Borno and Adamawa states.