Nigeria: Deadly blasts in Bauchi near army barracks

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Aftermath of bomb blasts in Bauchi (30 May 2011)
Image caption,
The Mamy market in Bauchi is popular with troops and local civilians

At least 10 people have been killed and about 25 injured by three bomb blasts near an army barracks in northern Nigeria, local officials have said.

The explosions hit the Mamy market in the city of Bauchi late on Sunday. The injured were taken to hospital.

No group has so far said it was behind the bombing.

The attack came just hours after the Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, was sworn in for his first full term of office in the capital, Abuja.

A second, smaller explosion hit a beer parlour in Zuba, on the outskirts of Abuja, causing minor injuries, officials say. The cause is not yet known.

The blasts at the Mamy market, near the Shadawanka barracks, happened at about 2030 (1930 GMT). Officials said it was "powerful".

"There were lots of people since it's a Sunday evening. People were relaxing, eating and drinking," Bauchi state police commissioner Abdulkadir Indabawa said.

Image caption,
Mr Jonathan secured nearly 60% of the vote in April's presidential election

Army barracks in Nigeria sometimes contain small market areas where traders sell food, drink and other goods to soldiers and civilians.

All roads leading to the barracks were cordoned off by security personnel after the blast.

The police say five people were killed, although sources at a hospital told the BBC that they had seen at least 10 bodies and there were possibly more.

The BBC's Jonah Fisher in Abuja says no-one has yet claimed to be behind the attack, though the timing - on the day of President Jonathan's inauguration - could mean a link with widespread northern anger at his election.

Mr Jonathan was promoted from vice-president after northerner Umaru Yar'Adua died in office in 2010.

April's election was largely considered free and fair, but hundreds of people were killed in three days of rioting and reprisal killings in northern towns following the announcement of the result.

Mr Jonathan secured nearly 60% of the vote in the election. His main challenger, northern Muslim and former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari, came a distant second with almost 32%.

Analysts say that Mr Jonathan will have to tackle the continuing Christian-Muslim conflict and also the simmering tension in the oil-producing Niger Delta.

"We will not allow anyone to exploit differences in creed or tongue to set us one against another," Mr Jonathan said in a speech at his inauguration ceremony.