Nigeria Bomb Factory Blasts Kill 3; Authorities Blame Boko Haram

Posted March 2nd, 2012 at 12:00 pm (UTC-5)
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Officials in northern Nigeria say three young men were killed Friday when explosions went off at a secret bomb factory in the restive city of Maiduguri.

A commander of Nigeria's anti-terrorism Joint Task Force, Colonel Victor Oheneme, told VOA the three men were members of the radical Islamic sect Boko Haram.

Joint Task Force members rushed to the area after the blasts destroyed a house in the residential Kaleri neighborhood. There, they discovered the mangled bodies of the men and a stash of homemade bombs.

Photos obtained by VOA show the blasts reduced the house to rubble. Unexploded bombs at the site show the bomb-makers were constructing their devices out of cans of cooking oil.

Boko Haram group has claimed responsibility for many deadly bombings and shootings across northern Nigeria, including attacks in the city of Kano in January that killed nearly 200 people.

Officials also blame the group for a wave of school burnings in Maiduguri this week.

The group's name roughly translates to “Western education is a sin.” Much about Boko Haram remains unknown but the group is believed to be pushing for stricter application of Islamic law in northern Nigeria.

President Goodluck Jonathan has vowed to crush the group, but it continues to carry out frequent attacks, often targeting police, government officials, and clergy.