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- Published on Monday, 25 April 2011 09:43
- By elombah.com
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Three bombs have exploded in Maiduguri in north-eastern Nigeria, killing at least three people. Two blasts went off at a hotel and one at a transport hub on Sunday night. Police say casualties have been taken to two hospitals in the city. Similar attacks have been blamed on the Islamist Boko Haram sect which has been battling security services in the city. The radical sect blamed for killings in northeastern Nigeria is vowing to fight until its says Muslims regain their freedom all over Nigeria.
In a statement released Sunday, Boko Haram called on the Nigerian government to embrace Islam, drop the constitution and adopt the laws in the Qur'an.
The latest bombings come ahead of polls on Tuesday for the governors of Nigeria's 36 states.
Unrest swept across Nigeria's north following a presidential election on 16 April, which was won by incumbent Goodluck Jonathan, a southerner. Hundreds are believed to have been killed and tens of thousands fled their homes.
It was unclear whether the bomb blasts in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state, have any connection to the unrest.
Police say three people died from the explosions at the Tudu Palace hotel and eight people have been wounded.
Casualty figures from the third blast at the motor park are not yet known.
The three-page statement from Boko Haram was left outside of a newspaper office in the city on Sunday warning of further attacks and comes amid deadly post-election rioting elsewhere in the north following the election of a Christian president.
But the town of Maiduguri where it is based has seen little of the vote-related unrest reported elsewhere in northern Nigeria this month.
"We will never accept any system of governance apart from the one described by Islam because that is the only way Muslims can be liberated," it said.
"We do not respect the Nigerian government because it is illegal. We will continue to fight its military and police because they are not protecting Islam."
Violence has also marred the election campaign in Borno state, including the assassination in January of the opposition All Nigeria People's Party (ANPP) candidate.
But our reporter says the latest bombings come as a surprise, as security is tight in the city because of the elections for governor.
"From all indications, this is the handiwork of Boko Haram, which has carried out similar attacks in the past," police spokesman Mai Mamm told AFP news agency.
Clashes in Maiduguri between Boko Haram, which says that Western education is forbidden, and the police in July 2009 left hundreds of mainly sect members dead.
For the past six months, sect members have been fighting a guerrilla war, killing policemen and people they believe helped the security services in the fight against them.
Boko Haram members have targeted police and clerics in a string of killings over the last year, and also have attacked churches and engineered a massive prison break.
The Nigeria radical Muslim sect vows to keep fighting, says government must embrace Islam