Gunmen threw explosives at a hotel and open-air bar in northeastern Nigeria, wounding 15 people, an employee and police said Thursday, the latest in a spate of attacks blamed on Islamists.
The attack in the city of Gombe on Wednesday night follows a series of bombings on Christmas Day blamed on the Islamist group Boko Haram which killed at least 40 people and sparked fears of renewed sectarian violence.
“The gunmen came and an argument ensued between them and the security guards at the entrance,” said Ojeifo Nelson, manager of the Tumfure Resort in Gombe, who added that he was among those wounded with a leg injury.
“They made their way to the reception and threw explosives into the reception and fired shots into the garden. Fifteen people in all were injured but none of the injuries is life-threatening.”
A police spokesman confirmed the incident to reporters but did not provide details. The motive for the attack was not clear.
Nigeria’s northeast has been hit by scores of bomb blasts and shootings blamed on Boko Haram, which has targeted bars on numerous occasions.
The Islamist group also claimed responsibility for Christmas Day bombings that killed 40 people in several towns – the deadliest an explosion outside a Catholic church near the capital Abuja.
Amid fears of reprisal attacks by Christians, attackers on Tuesday threw a bomb into an Arabic school in Nigeria’s mainly Christian southern town of Sapele, wounding six children and an adult.
Violence had been raging even in the days before the Christmas Day bombings, especially in the northeastern cities of Damaturu, Potiskum and Maiduguri. Most of the incidents attributed to Boko Haram have occurred in the northeast.
Nigeria is Africa’s most populous nation with 160 million people, roughly divided between a mainly Muslim north and predominantly Christian south.