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Updated: Wed, 18 Jun 2014 04:52:38 GMT | By The Associated Press, cbc.ca

Explosion rocks Damaturu, Nigeria World Cup viewing party



Police officers patrol near a journalist during a protest by the Abuja wing of the "Bring Back Our Girls" group, calling for the release of the Nigerian schoolgirls in Chibok who were kidnapped by Islamist militant group Boko Haram, in Abuja May 22, 2014. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde (© NIGERIA - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST CRIME LAW)

Police officers patrol near a journalist during a protest by the Abuja wing of the "Bring Back Our Girls" group, calling for the release of the Nigerian schoolgirls in Chibok who were kidnapped by Islamist militant group Boko Haram, in Abuja May 22, 2014. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde (NIGERIA - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST CRIME LAW) - RTR3QG7U Afolabi Sotunde/Reuters

Police say 14 people were known to have died in the bombing of an outdoor World Cup viewing centre in a northeast Nigerian city.

The suicide bomber detonated a tricycle taxi packed with explosives Tuesday night.

Police Assistant Superintendent Nathan Cheghan said Wednesday that 14 people were killed and 26 were wounded in the attack in Damaturu, capital of Yobe state.

There was no immediate claim for the blast but Boko Haram was suspected.

Boko Haram wants to enforce an Islamic state in Nigeria, Africa's biggest oil producer with a population almost equally divided between Christians and Muslims.

Witnesses said the tricycle taxi was driven into the outdoor area soon after the Brazil-Mexico match started Tuesday night.  All spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals.

One hospital worker said he saw at least seven bodies. Another said 15 casualties were in intensive care. Both asked that their names not be published because they are not authorized to speak to reporters.

Similar attack killed 14 in June

The Nigerian government has advised residents to avoid gathering in public to watch the World Cup, concerned about possible attacks.

Earlier this month, a bomb blast targeting another informal venue in northeast Nigeria where soccer fans had gathered killed at least 14 people and wounded 12.

Such assaults on the often-ramshackle television viewing centres have raised fears militant groups will target supporters gathering to cheer on the global soccer contests.

Many fans in soccer-mad Africa rely on informal venues — often open-sided structures with televisions set up in shops and side streets — to watch live coverage of the sport.

Boko Haram — whose name roughly translates as "Western education is sinful" — has declared war on all signs of what it sees as corrupting Western influence.

The group has killed thousands since 2009 in its push to carve out an Islamic state in Nigeria's restive north.

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