UPDATE: A security official said three soldiers were killed while four others were injured in the attack at the Customs area. The official spoke on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to speak to journalists.
“We lost three soldiers. Four other soldiers were injured and several civilians either died or were injured in the explosion.”
The attackers concealed a remote-controlled IED (improvised explosive device) inside a car which they pushed, pretending it had broken down, he said.
When they saw a military van coming, they abandoned the car by the roadside and from a distance, they detonated the explosive device as the van was passing by the abandoned car, he explained.
Explosions on Thursday rock the city of Maiduguri which is hosting a meeting of opposition political parties.
The blasts occurred simultaneously at Baga road, Customs, Gamboru general areas at about 3pm, while the last one in London ciki happened at about 6pm.
According to Joint Task Force (JTF) spokesman Lt. Col. Sagir Musa, “There was an explosion targeting a military patrol vehicle today. One soldier and two civilians were injured in the attack which happened around Customs area of the city.”
“Three other explosions were reported in the Gamboru and Bolori areas of the city but there were no casualties,”
The All Progressives Congress, a recently announced amalgam of opposition parties in Nigeria, was holding a meeting Thursday in the city that had drawn powerful politicians.
The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Yuguda Abdullahi said, he was aware of only one blast when he personally visited the scene, but declined comment on the number of casualties.
Meanwhile, police in Taraba state said foreigners working for a construction company escaped a kidnapping attempt Wednesday night that killed two police officers.