Reports: Explosion hits World Cup viewing party in Nigeria

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Multiple reports indicate an alleged bombing attack during a World Cup watch party in the northeast Nigerian city of Damaturu has led to injuries, and possible deaths, to dozens of people.

The Associated Press reports a tricycle taxi was the catalyst for the explosion. The chaos in Damaturu came during Tuesday's Mexico-Brazil World Cup match at approximately 8 p.m. local time. Fears of dozens more deaths are growing, as rescue efforts are still ongoing. Per the AP, 15 people have been counted as critically wounded.

According to Al Jazeera sources, "many people have been killed."

A report from Reuters cites two explosions.

The Boko Haram terrorist groups have pounced on opportunities to wound, harm and destruct areas where soccer-watching has taken place in greater Nigeria. Threats of bombings have increased in recent weeks, and some areas around Nigeria have put a ban on public viewings of soccer matches for fear of this kind of attack.

Boko Haram is also the Islamist militant group that proudly took responsibility behind the abduction of more than 270 Nigerian schoolgirls in April. That massive kidnapping happened in the nearby Nigerian state of Borno.

More, from Al Jazeera's report:

Sanusi Ruf'ai, police commissioner for Yobe state, told AFP: "There was an explosion outside a soccer viewing centre here in Damaturu at around 8.15pm. Our men have deployed to the scene but it's too early for us to give details."
Dam Earlier this month, at least 40 people were killed when a bomb went off after a football match in the town of Mubi in Adamawa. The apparent target was fans trying to leave after the final whistle. In May, three people were killed in a blast outside a viewing centre showing the European Champions League final between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid in Jos, the capital of Plateau state. In April, suspected Boko Haram gunmen stormed a packed venue in Potiskum, in northeast Yobe state, shooting dead two people as they watched Champions League quarter-final matches. Boko Haram has killed thousands since 2009 in its push to carve out an Islamic state in Nigeria's north.

Nigeria suffered a similar attack two weeks ago, when a bomb detonation killed more than 40 people in the city of Mubi.

Here is an image from an attack during a soccer-viewing gathering in Nigeria in May:

Damaturu is the capital of Yobe, one of Nigeria's 36 states. It has been declared under a "state of emergency" for the past 13 months.

CBS Sports Writer

Matt Norlander is a national award-winning writer who has been with CBS Sports since 2010. He's in his seventh season covering college basketball for CBS, and also covers the NBA Draft, the Olympics and... Full Bio

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