Abuja: A bomb blast and gunfire on Tuesday killed at least 10 people and injured many others in Nigeria's troubled city of Maiduguri, according to eyewitnesses.
The eyewitnesses said the deaths resulted mainly from the action of the soldiers who burnt houses and shot sporadically after a man was killed while trying to throw a bomb at them.
The man died while detonating the bomb following which soldiers started firing. They also physically assaulted some inhabitants while searching houses for the bombers suspected to be members of Islamic sect Boko Haram, residents said.
"From where I am speaking, two corpses are lying along the road. The soldiers would not allow anyone into that area for they would not want the destruction there to be seen," a resident said.
The resident said he witnessed the killing of three other persons and burning of about ten houses and a car.
At the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital mortuary a source revealed that one person who was shot dead was brought in the morning.
Field Operation Officer of the Joint Task Force in Borno State, Colonel Victor Ebhaleme, said one person died while trying to detonate a bomb targeted at one of their formation.
"We had explosion this morning, after which we quickly rushed to the scene of the incident where we discovered that a suspected Boko Haram sect member died in process of detonating an explosive device," he said, denying any killings by his men.
"Let me also inform you that we were able to rescue some women and children from one of the houses that went ablaze as a result of the explosion... We have brought the situation under control," Ebhaleme said.
Boko Haram, a fundamentalist Islamic group, wants the establishment of its brand of Sharia rule in Nigeria.