UK, Others Condemn Abuja Bomb Attack, Police, Soldiers Among the Dead
Twins blasts at a packed bus station in Nigeria’s capital killed “dozens of people” on Monday, a spokesman for the state-run emergency services said. Official reports placed death toll at 71 with 124 injured. The blast has prompted global condemnation with the UK issuing a travel advice to its nationals to stay away from the affected area.
Nigerians of all divides took to social media to condemn the attack which shattered the peace of the FCT in the early hours of Monday.
“It’s correct to say dozens of people were killed following the bomb blasts in Nyanya Bus Park this morning,” Manzo Ezekiel of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has said.
The cause of the explosions at the Nyanya Bus Park roughly five kilometres (three miles) south of Abuja was not immediately clear.
The city has been attacked previously by Boko Haram insurgents, who say they are fighting to create a strict Islamic state in northern Nigeria.
“We have been able to bring some of the dead to the morgue and some injured have been taken to the hospital,” said Charles Otegbade, head of search and rescue at the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).
He said his team had not yet been able to provide precise figures on casualties.
An AFP reporter at the scene said there were signs of a major explosion, with the remnants of charred vehicles scattered in the area. Some of the small shops at the station had been damaged or destroyed. NEMA spokesman Manzo Ezekiel told our Correspondent in a telephone chat from Abuja, that the Nyanya station was crowded with people on their way to work in Abuja when the explosions rang out and that witnesses reported hearing two separate blasts. Security officials at the scene were working to determine the cause of the explosions.
Boko Haram is blamed for scores of attacks across northern and central Nigeria that have killed thousands since 2009.
In 2011 it carried out a suicide car bombing at a United Nations building in Abuja that killed at least 26 people, one of its most prominent attacks.
Most of the group’s recent violence, however, has been in the remote northeast of the country.
An attack on the outskirts of Abuja would cast further doubt on the military’s claim that the insurgents have been weakened and lack the capacity to strike prominent targets.
Boko Haram attacks have already killed more than 1,500 people this year, according to Amnesty International.
The Islamists rebels stormed a northeastern village on the border with Cameroon early Sunday, killing at least 60 people with heavy weapons and explosives, a local official said.( AFP)
The UK Foreign Secretary William Hague has condemned Monday’s bomb attack at Nyanya motor park in Abuja, which killed and injured many people.
In a statement in Abuja, Hague said: “I was deeply saddened to hear of the bomb explosion in the east of Abuja.
“I unreservedly condemn those responsible and hope they are swiftly brought to justice.
“ I offer the British government’s deepest condolences to the bereaved and those who have suffered injury.’’
The UK foreign secretary reiterated that Britain would continue to work closely with the Nigerian government to help tackle the threat from terrorism.
Meanwhile, the UK on Monday updated its travel advice on Nigeria, particularly the FCT, advising British Nationals to avoid the area concerned.
“A bomb attack on a bus station in the Nyanya area of Abuja on Monday, 14 April, has resulted in a number of casualties; we advise British nationals to avoid the area.’’
The updated travel advice replaces the one issued on March 30 after the foiled jail break at the DSS headquarters in Abuja.