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The government said that the duo must have panicked and detonated their explosives due to the heavy presence of police during Sunday’s game in Addis Ababa

The Ethiopian government has announced that two suicide bombers who had planned to disrupt Sunday’s World Cup qualifier between Ethiopia and Nigeria in Addis Ababa accidentally blew themselves up before carrying out the attack.

Nigeria defeated their hosts 2-1 at the packed National Stadium in a first leg play-off game for Brazil 2014.

On Monday, the government opened up on the failed plot and stated that the explosion happened in the upscale Bole district of the capital, about 5 km (3 miles) from Addis Ababa Stadium where thousands of fans were gathering for the match.

The Nigerian team stayed at Saro-Maria Hotel in the Bole district not far from the airport.

"They were Somali nationals and plotted to carry out a suicide attack disguised as fans on either the stadium or areas where large crowds gathered to watch the game," government spokesman Shimeles Kemal was quoted by Reuters.

"Heavy police presence must have caused their nervousness and state of agitation which led to the detonation that caused their own death," Shimeles said.

Explosives, arms, hand grenades and football shirts were found at the scene of the blast, at a residential address an hour before kick-off, Shimeles said. Three suspects were detained. The Bole district has a small Somali refugee community.

Nigeria will host the return leg in Calabar on November 16.

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