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Blast in brothel in northeast Nigeria kills 11 - police

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[June 28, 2014]  KADUNA Nigeria (Reuters) - An explosion overnight in a brothel in the northeastern Nigerian city of Bauchi killed 10 people, police said on Saturday, while 14 others were wounded.

The statement sent by text message said the cause of the blast was unknown. Islamist sect Boko Haram has targeted several cities across north and central Nigeria in the past few months.

Bauchi state police spokesman Haruna Mohammed said 14 people were rushed to hospital after the explosion in the People's Hotel brothel, at the Bayangari area of Bauchi metropolis.

"The entire building has been cordoned off and the scene secured. No arrest has been made but an investigation has commenced to ascertain the cause," he said.

Bauchi state, like neighbouring Jos, straddles Nigeria's volatile "Middle Belt", where its largely Christian south and Muslim north meet. The region has been less frequently attacked by Boko Haram than its heartland in the remote northeast.
 


But the militants seem keen to demonstrate their ability to extend their reach beyond the region of military operations against them centred around Borno state. A bomb in an upmarket shopping district of the capital Abuja killed 21 people on Wednesday, the third attack on the capital in three months.

Boko Haram is fighting to carve an Islamic state out of religiously-mixed Nigeria, Africa's most populous country, biggest economy and leading energy producer.

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The insurgents have killed many thousands since launching an uprising in 2009, and several hundred in the past two months as they have stepped up a bloody campaign against civilians in the northeast. Boko Haram sees all who do not share its austere brand of Sunni Islam as enemies.

President Goodluck Jonathan said on Friday Nigeria had entered one of the darkest phases of its history, visiting the scene of Wednesday's Abuja bomb blast.

(Reporting by Isaac Abrak and Buhari Bello; Writing by Tim Cocks; Editing by Toby Chopra)

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