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Several killed in bomb attack in east Nigeria

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An explosion has occurred near government buildings in the eastern Nigerian state of Taraba, killing at least 11 people, according to the Reuters news agency.

The blast took place on Monday morning at a road junction near the offices of the state governor in Jalingo, the state capital, with initial reports indicating that two suicide attackers had rammed a police convoy.

"The blast was between the state ministry of finance and police headquarters," Ibrahim Farinloye, local head of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), told Reuters.

The local head of the NEMA said 20 people had been taken to hospital.

The apparent target of the attack was Mamman Sule, the state police commissioner, whose convoy was passing by when the explosion occurred, said Ibiang Mbaseki, the police spokesperson.

"A bomber on a motorcycle rammed into the police rider [motorcycle escort]," Mbaseki told the AFP news agency. "The bomb went off. The windshield of the police commissioner's car was shattered."

The commissioner "was the prime target", Mbaseki said.

Sule was unharmed, witnesses said, but the explosives caused massive damage to a roadside market, and blew out the windows at the nearby state ministry of finance building.

"For now, we are not mentioning anybody as suspects," said Mbaseki. "An investigation will be carried out to determine who was responsible."

Nigeria is roughly divided between a mainly Muslim north and a predominantly Christian south. Taraba state is located in the country's north-east.

On Sunday, bomb and gun attacks on Christians attending church services in Nigeria's north killed at least 21 people.

A university theatre used for church services in the northern city of Kano and a church in northeast Maiduguri were attacked by gunmen in those attacks.


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