Two bombs were planted near a military checkpoint outside the main mosque in Kaduna’s Unguwar Sarki area, police and residents said.
After the first bomb went off, soldiers at the checkpoint discovered a second explosive device and called the police anti-bomb squad, Kaduna state police spokesman Aminu Lawan told AFP.
“We lost one of our men from the police bomb disposal unit. He died when an explosive device he was trying to defuse exploded, killing him on the spot,” Lawan said, adding that no other casualties were reported.
“As if he knew what was going to happen, the policeman ordered everyone to move back and as he leaned to take the bomb out of the bag, it exploded with a bang,” resident Abdullahi Isa said, recounting the officer’s death.
Boko Haram claimed responsibility for coordinated blasts that rocked Kaduna on February 7.
One of those attacks was carried out by a suicide bomber who tried to drive a car packed with explosives into a military barracks. The military said the bomber was stopped before reaching his target and that he was the only one killed.
In December, a powerful explosion hit Kaduna, killing at least eight people, wounding many others and destroying a number of houses and shops, but the cause has never been clarified.
Boko Haram has claimed a series of both large- and small-scale attacks around Nigeria — primarily in the north — that have killed more than 200 people this year.
The group’s deadliest attack came on January 20, just north of Kaduna, in Nigeria’s second city of Kano, which killed at least 185 people.
Boko Haram has mostly targeted the police and other symbols of authority in Africa‘s most populous nation and top oil producer.
- Nigerians flee to border towns for fear of Boko Haram (catheyspost.wordpress.com)
- SSS raids NTA office, carts away Boko Haram video (catheyspost.wordpress.com)
- Boko Haram names negotiators in video aired by NTA (catheyspost.wordpress.com)
Nigeria‘s military has harassed and obstructed journalists trying to report on unrest in recent days, according to local journalists and news reports.
On Sunday in the city of Jos, in Nigeria’s north central region, soldiers detained Jeremie Drieu, a videographer with French television station TF1, and local journalist Ahmad Salkida after they sought permission to film in the area, The Associated Press reported. The Nigerian federal government has been enforcing a state of emergency in Jos following bloody clashes between Muslims and Christians that have claimed the lives of at least two journalists, according to CPJ research.
Soldiers searched and interrogated the journalists and escorted them to their hotel, where they were forced to pack and leave Jos and Plateau state as night fell, the journalists told AP. “The official reason was security, which was absurd, because it is not safe to take the road at night,” Drieu told the AP.
In a separate incident on Tuesday, soldiers in the northern city of Kaduna seized the video cameras of Umar Uthman of the private station African Independent Television and another cameraman with the government-run Kaduna State Television, local media reported. Both journalists were covering the scene of a suicide bomb blast which had earlier rocked the city.
Isa Sa’idu, reporter for Daily Trust, told CPJ the soldiers ordered over 20 journalists to leave the area, preventing them from reporting the day’s events. “They drove all of us and asked us to move away from the vicinity and one of them threatened to shoot,” Sa’idu said.
“The Nigerian military has acted arbitrarily in blocking these journalists,” said CPJ Africa Advocacy Coordinator Mohamed Keita. “We call on the military command to take decisive action to halt obstruction of the news media.”
In a phone interview with CPJ today, Ministry of Defense spokesman Col. Mohammed Yerima denied that the military is thwarting journalists from doing their job. “Is it not when a place is secured that you will allow them to go in and do their stories? I am sure it must have been when the tension was very high. But it would not have been deliberate to harm them or deprive them,” Yerima said.