Published on : Thursday, April 17, 2014
At least 71 people were killed and 124 others sustained injuries in a morning explosion which rocked a large motor park in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, Monday, the Nigerian emergency authority and police said.
Nigerian Police Spokesman Frank Mba said the casualties figures were obtained from hospitals and other health facilities where injured people were receiving treatment.
“Sixteen luxury buses were torched and scores of other vehicles were damaged,” Mba told reporters at the scene of the incident, as emergency workers continued to comb the area in search of victims.
According to eyewitnesses, a suicide bomber drove a red station wagon into Nyanyan Motor Park, located on the outskirts of Abuja, and detonated the bombs which directly hit some luxury buses and other vehicles in the garage.
Earlier, Manzo Ezekiel, the spokesman of the National Emergency Management Agency, said the blast affected mostly workers and commuters around the buses.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but officials blamed the explosion on the Boko Haram Islamist sect which has proved to be a major security threat in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country.
Nigeria, with a population of approximately 170 million, is facing major security challenges which are crippling economic activity in some states.
The northern part of the country is plagued by violence, including attacks by the Boko Haram sect. The southern part is said to be a hub of criminal activities including oil theft or bunkering, kidnap and armed robbery attacks.
Communal clashes often paralyze commercial activities in the central state of Plateau, which shares borders with many northern states, whereas pockets of violence in the north central state of Benue are mostly attributed to herdsmen.