MAIDUGURI, Nigeria, July 6 (Reuters) - A heavy explosion followed by bursts of sporadic gunfire hit the northeastern Nigerian town of Maiduguri on Wednesday, where a militant Islamist sect has been waging a campaign of violence.
The blast, which appeared to come from the centre of the town, shattered windows in surrounding neighbourhoods shortly after 7 am (0600 GMT) and was followed by sporadic bursts of automatic gunfire, a Reuters witness and local residents said.
"People ran out to see where this thing had happened. There were huge plumes of smoke which seemed to be coming from the Abbaganaram neighbourhood," one of the witnesses said. (For more Reuters Africa coverage and to have your say on the top issues, visit: af.reuters.com/ ) (Reporting by Ibrahim Mshelizza; Writing by Nick Tattersall) (Editing by Jon Hemming)