Kano (Nigeria): Suspected Islamists have hurled bombs and fired on a beer garden in the northern Nigerian city of Maiduguri, killing at least 25 people and injuring about 30, police and witnesses said.

The two men came on motorbikes and sped away after the shock attack on Sunday, they said in Maiduguri, capital of northeastern Borno State.

"The attackers, believed to be Boko Haram members, threw bombs and fired indiscriminate gun shots on a packed tavern at Dala Kabompi neighbourhood, killing at least 25 people and seriously injuring around 30 others," a police superintendent said.

An army captain, also speaking on condition of anonymity, said: "It will be difficult to say with precision the number of casualties but it can't be less then two dozen."

Emmanuel Okon, who sells roast beef on the fringes of the tavern, said: "I just heard a loud bang followed by sporadic shootings and plumes of black smoke filled the area with people screaming and running in all directions.

"The wounded and the dead lay on the ground and the place was littered with broken bottles and glasses and personal effects like shoes," he said.

"I didn't count the number of casualties but I believe those who died are more than 25 and the injured could be more than 30," Okon said.

The attack came on the day a joint military and police task force was launched to combat the spate of bomb and shoot-and-run attacks by sect members in the city.

(Agencies)