MAIDUGURI, Nigeria — A bomb targeting a police vehicle in a governor's motorcade and two other blasts rocked the volatile Nigerian city of Maiduguri, but no casualties were reported, police and residents said Tuesday.
The blast involving the motorcade of Borno state Governor Kashim Shettima occurred Monday when suspected members of the Islamist group Boko Haram threw a bomb at the police vehicle on the road from the Maiduguri airport.
The governor was returning from the capital Abuja and was being welcomed by supporters along the airport road following his victory in a legal challenge to his election win in April.
"There was a blast targeted at one of our vehicles, but it did not hit its target," Borno state police commissioner Simeon Midenda told AFP. "It was a mild explosion. Nobody was killed or injured."
Midenda said a second explosion targeted a military checkpoint around the Abbaganaram area of the city Monday evening.
"The assailants detonated a bomb by the roadside around 7:30 pm in order to attract the attention of JTF (military Joint Task Force)," he said.
"When the JTF heard the blast, they went to the scene and the Boko Haram members started firing indiscriminately and the JTF members fired back. At the end of the day, the assailants fled."
Residents also told AFP a third explosion also occurred at Zajeri, a suburb of the city.
"I was in my shop when I heard a loud blast around 7:50 pm. I hurriedly locked myself inside the shop. After about an hour I came out but did not see anybody," Musa Jalo, a tailor in the area, told AFP.
Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state, has been hit by scores of attacks blamed on Boko Haram, which also claimed responsibility for the August suicide bombing of UN headquarters in Abuja which killed at least 24 people.
The sect claimed to be behind coordinated attacks in Maiduguri and Damaturu in nearby Yobe state on November 4 that left some 150 people dead.
Boko Haram has claimed to be fighting for the establishment of an Islamic state in northern Nigeria. The country's 160 million population is roughly divided in half between Christians and Muslims.
The sect launched an uprising in 2009 put down by a military assault which left hundreds dead as well as its mosque and headquarters in Maiduguri in ruins.