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Explosion rocks Port Harcourt, one person killed

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By Abubakar Ibrahim

A suspected armed robber was killed when explosives his gang was transporting accidentally went off in the oil city of Port Harcourt yesterday, police said.
The blast ripped through a minibus carrying at least three suspected robbers, four AK-47 rifles and a large amount of ammunition, Rivers State Police Commissioner Mohammed Abdulkadir Indabawa told Reuters.
Two people in the bus and a woman who was nearby were injured in the explosion, he added.”We suspect they were armed robbers going (on) an operation, and things went wrong for them,” said Indabawa.
A Reuters photographer saw the area around the minibus being cordoned by police in the town centre. The flames were out, but the vehicle was largely burned to its frame coated in grey ash.
The National Emergency Management Agency, yesterday issued a one-paragraph statement confirming the explosion, saying the driver of the commercial bus had been confirmed dead.
“NEMA confirms an explosion today in a commercial bus at Rumuokoro roundabout in Port Harcourt,” the statement by the agency’s spokesperson, Yushau Shuaibu, said.
“The driver died in the explosion”, he said, assuring, however, that “the situation is under control.”Another report said the affected bus broke down and was being pushed off the road by its occupants when the explosion went off. One of the three people pushing the bus was killed instantly while scores of other people were wounded and rushed to hospital.
Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, also said the persons killed were suspected armed robbers. He spoke on CHANNELS TV.  

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