3rd June, 2014

Members of terror group Boko Haram, who still hold more than 200 Christian school girls captive, are believed to be behind the bombing of a television viewing centre for football in north-east Nigeria in which least 14 people killed and dozens more wounded, police and the military confirmed on Monday.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast in Gavan in the Mubi area of Adamawa state, but Boko Haram's struggle for an Islamic state is concentrated in the north-east.

The group has set off several bombs across north and central Nigeria over the past two months, repeatedly causing carnage, and ordering Christians to leave the region.

"I heard a loud blast. The place is near the market, which I had just left. I ran," said John Audu, a resident of the town in remarks published by Reuters news agency.

The blast, carried out on Sunday followed a week of bloodshed. Last week more than 100 people were killed in three bombings in a span of four days, all suspected to be planted by Boko Haram, in the Nigerian city Jos.

On 24th May, three people - including the suicide bomber - were killed when a blast reportedly detonated prematurely, missing its target of more than 400 football fans packed in the Jos View Centre to watch European Cup football. The bombing took place near the centre along Bauchi Road, in a predominantly Muslim settlement, Christians said.

On 20th May, two blasts killed at least 118 people, most of them women and children, including Christians. Nigerian officials reportedly detained a suspect, but more details were not immediately available.

The two bombs detonated around the Jos Terminus market during a local rush-hour, with several commuters caught in the subsequent fire, witnesses said.

Nigeria"s largest church network, the Christian Association of Nigeria, condemned the attacks saying the "perpetrators are not sensitive to human life."

"These women that sell tomatoes for a living, how can you just go and destroy them like that? There are some that were left with only one leg, with only one hand. We strongly condemn this barbaric act," said Reverend Musa Asake, the association"s national secretary.

Elsewhere, Boko Haram insurgents killed 35 people in coordinated early morning raids on three villages in Nigeria's north-eastern state of Borno, a military source and residents said, the latest deadly attacks by the militant group.

The 28th May attacks saw dozens of Boko Haram gunmen dressed in military uniforms raiding Gumushi, Amuda and Arbokko in all-terrain vans and on motorcycles, opening fire on residents and torching homes with Molotov cocktails.

At least 26 people were killed in Gumushi alone, a military officer in Maiduguri was quoted as saying by the Cable News Network (CNN), speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to talk with media about the incidents.

Two days earlier, on Monday, Boko Haram reportedly stormed a military base and a police station in Yobe state, also in the northeast.

The attacks in the town of Buni Yadi apparently left 18 soldiers and 15 police officers dead.

The violence has added to concerns among Christians about the hereabouts of more than 200 Christian schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram.

Though some escaped, most are still believed to be held by the militants at a recently discovered location, officials said.

The girls were recently forced to 'convert' to Islam.

- BosNewsLife (with DAVID ADAMS)