Lagos, Nigeria (PANA) - A suicide bomber detonated explosives strapped to his body at a mosque in Nigeria's northern city of Maiduguri on Friday, killing five persons and injuring six, including two soldiers, according to the spokesman for the military Joint Task Force (JTF) deployed to the city, Col. Sagir Musa.
Musa said in a statement obtained by PANA in Lagos that the incident occurred just after Friday prayers at the mosque, close to the palace of the city's traditional ruler - Shehu of Bornu, Abubakar Garbai.
He said only the quick thinking of the JTF soldiers deployed to the palace prevented the suicide bomber from getting close to the traditional ruler, who was accompanied to mosque by the Borno state's deputy governor, Zanna Mustapha.
''JTF troops attached to the Shehu's palace prevented the bomber from getting to the Shehu and the Deputy Governor. Two soldiers that pushed the bomber from closing in on the Shehu were critically injured,'' he said, in an indication that the suicide bomber targeted the dignitaries.
There has been no claim of responsibility for the attack.
Maiduguri is the spiritual base of the radical Islamic sect Boko Haram, which has killed over 1,200 people in gun and bomb attacks in the country since 2009.
-0- PANA SEG 13July2012