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Bomb blast kills 2, houses and shops burnt in Nigeria

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

A bomb explosion targeting soldiers killed at least two people on Friday in the restive northeastern Nigerian city of Maiduguri while houses and shops nearby were burnt, the military said.

The two dead were suspected to be the bombers, according to a statement from Lieutenant Colonel Sagir Musa, though independent confirmation was not immediately available and the military's information is often unreliable.

"No civilian was killed or wounded," the statement said of the incident in the Gambaru market area, adding that a military vehicle was damaged and a soldier was wounded.

Musa also said shops and houses in the area caught fire due to the effects of the blast, but this also could not be independently confirmed. It was also not clear how many houses and shops were burnt.

The military has been accused of setting homes and shops alight in Maiduguri in response to previous bomb blasts, among other abuses.

Maiduguri is the home base of Islamist extremist group Boko Haram, which has carried out a violent insurgency in Nigeria's north and central regions.

Violence linked to the insurgency has left some 3,000 people dead since 2009, including killings by the security forces. The military has come under heavy pressure to show progress in the fight against the group.

Human Rights Watch said in a report released in October that Nigerian security forces as well as Boko Haram may both be guilty of crimes against humanity.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130215/bomb-blast-kills-2-houses-and-shops-burnt-nigeria