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Africa

Eight killed in explosion in northern Nigeria

media People help to carry a water hose as they try to put a fire at the scene … Reuters/Stringer

A powerful blast in northern Nigerian city of Kaduna on Wednesday killed at least eight people and injured many others, an emergency official said.

"One of the dead victims from the Kaduna explosion is a three-year-old child whose parent has taken the body for burial," said Yushau Shuaib for the national emergency management agency.

Dossier: Sharia wars - Boko Haram v the military in northern Nigeria

Another official from the agency specified that a total of eight people had so far been confirmed killed.

Police said Wednesday that the explosion seemed to be accidental, but there was speculation that it was a bomb due to its strength and the fact that it took place in an area mainly populated by Christian Igbos.

There were riots in Kaduna, located in the mainly Muslim north, after April’s election, which was won by President Goodluck Jonathan, a Christian from the south.

Nigeria's north has also been hit in recent months by scores of bomb blasts and shootings blamed on the Islamist sect known as Boko Haram.

Police spokesperson Aminu Lawan had earlier in the day said information indicated that the blast was accidental.

"Initially, we thought it was a bomb blast but our preliminary assessment has shown that it was an accidental explosion from a repair shop dealing in car batteries and gas cylinders," Lawan had said.

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