MAIDUGURI, Nigeria – Two Islamic militants rammed an explosives-laden car into a police highway patrol van on Tuesday, killing five police officers and three civilians in Nigeria's northeastern city of Maiduguri, police said.
The two suicide bombers also died in the conflagration Tuesday on a highway on the outskirts of Maiduguri, according to Deputy Superintendent Gideon Jubrin.
The civilians were passers-by hit by shrapnel when the cars crashed and exploded, said witness Abubakar Muhammed. Many other pedestrians and commuters in Tuesday morning traffic also were injured, he said.
The attack comes a day after Islamic extremist leader Abubakar Shekau threatened to unleash all-out war on Maiduguri, the birthplace of his Boko Haram terrorist network. He spoke in a video message.
Shekau's fighters shot their way into the city's main army barracks March 14 and released hundreds of detainees.
Boko Haram is accused of killing thousands in its 4-year-old Islamic uprising.