Nine people have been killed in a car bomb blast at a military checkpoint in northern Nigeria.
Officials and witnesses said on Tuesday that the bomb exploded at the checkpoint on a road leading to the northeastern city of Maiduguri.The victims were all aboard the explosives-laden vehicle. There was not clear if any soldiers were injured in the incident.
Preliminary reports said the vehicle was a minivan transporting ordinary passengers. The driver was also among the victims.There was no immediate claim of responsibility although local officials blamed the attack on Boko Haram, a Takfiri terrorist group operating in northern Nigeria and certain neighboring countries.
More than 20,000 people have been killed and some 2.6 million people have been displaced from their homes since Boko Haram began its terror activities in 2009. Many blame corrupt officials in the Nigerian government and army for the continued militancy. Recent reports say the terrorist group is receiving some of its arms and ammunition from corrupt Nigerian officials.
Attacks by Boko Haram had subsided in the recent past as leadership struggle in the group intensified. However, the months-long lull seems to have ended as the militant group has stepped up attacks on civilians and security forces in recent weeks.
Last week, nine people were killed and two dozen were injured when Boko Haram operatives carried out two explosions in Maiduguri. The attacks were aimed at residents of a camp of refugees who had run away from Boko Haram.