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17 Killed in Nigeria Car Bombing



Police say a car bomb explosion in northern Nigeria has killed at least 17 people.

The blast took place Tuesday in a busy area of Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state.

State police chief Lawan Tanko says casualty totals could rise because officers are still trying to locate blast victims who were taken to a local hospital.

There were no immediate claims of responsibility for the attack, which took place on a Muslim holiday.

Maiduguri is the home base of Boko Haram, a shadowy Islamist militant group blamed for thousands of deaths over the past five years.



Borno is one of three northeastern states the Nigerian government put under emergency rule last May as the military fights Boko Haram.

Reporter Kareem Haruna is in Maiduguri and was near by when Tuesday's blast occurred. He tells VOA a car exploded near a military checkpoint, outside of the High Court. He says the blast sent people running in panic.

Haruna also says he heard gunfire but could not immediately confirm the source.

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