May 17, 2012 / 1:38 PM / 8 years ago

Nigeria "robbers" accidentally blow up own bus

River state governor Chibuike Amechi stands (C) with security officials to assess a burnt commercial bus, where a bomb exploded, along a road in Rumuokoro district in Nigeria's oil hub city of Port Harcourt May 17, 2012. A suspected armed robber was killed when explosives his gang was transporting accidentally went off in the centre of Nigeria's main oil city of Port Harcourt on Thursday, 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. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye

PORT HARCOURT (Reuters) - A suspected armed robber was killed when explosives his gang was transporting accidentally went off in the centre of Nigeria’s main oil city of Port Harcourt on Thursday, 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.

Port Harcourt is at the heart of Nigeria’s 2 million plus barrel a day (bpd) oil industry and has been plagued by militant groups and criminal gangs cashing in on the money it generates.

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.

Reporting by Austin Ekeinde and Akintunde Akinleye; Writing by Tim Cocks; Editing by Andrew Heavens

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