Blasts at Nigerian city target police and military

Multiple blasts have rocked a city in Nigeria's restive north east where a radical Muslim sect is accused of a rash of targeted killings, authorities said.

A spokesman for Nigeria's National Emergency Management Agency said that the three blasts appear to have targeted police and military property between Wednesday night and yesterday morning in the city of Maiduguri in Borno state.

Yushau Shuaib said the agency was mobilising response workers to come to the aid of people in three areas of the city. He said people were injured, but he did not say how many or if anyone had died.

"The children were crying and we did not know where to go," said Ibrahim Idrissa whose home was shaken by a blast that destroyed a patrol vehicle on Lagos Street.

The police were not immediately available for comment but had blamed a radical sect locally known as Boko Haram for another blast last Saturday that killed two bystanders at a Maiduguri bus stop.

Boko Haram members have targeted police and clerics in a string of killings over the last year. They have also attacked churches and engineered a massive prison break.

Routine attacks mean that residents are subjected to searches at dozens of checkpoints.

Motorcycle riders and car drivers have to come out of their vehicles, along with their passengers, and walk with their arms raised to prove weapons are not hidden in their clothing several times a day.

But, the situation is deteriorating despite strict measures taken by security forces to stop the killings.

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