Toll from Nigeria bus station bomb rises to 71 killed- UPDATED

A morning rush hour bomb killed at least 71 people at a Nigerian bus station on the outskirts of the capital on Monday

Toll from Nigeria bus station bomb rises to 71 killed- UPDATED

World Bulletin/News Desk

The confirmed toll from the bombing of a bus station near the capital Abuja on Monday is 71 killed and 124 wounded so far, police spokesman Frank Mba told Reuters.

Security experts suspect the explosion was inside a vehicle, said Air Commodore Charles Otegbade, director of search and rescue operations. The bus station, 8 km (5 miles) southwest of central Abuja, serves Nyanya, a poor, ethnically and religiously mixed satellite town where many residents work in the city.

"I was waiting to get on a bus when I heard a deafening explosion, then saw smoke," said Mimi Daniels, who escaped from the blast with minor injuries to her arm.

"People were running around in panic."

Bloody remains lay strewn over the ground as security forces struggled to hold back a crowd of onlookers and fire crews hosed down a bus still holding the charred bodies of commuters.

"These are the remains of my friend," said a man, who gave his name as John, holding up a bloodied shirt. "His travel ticket with his name on was in the shirt pocket."

The attack underscored the vulnerability of Nigeria's federal capital, built in the 1980s in the geographic centre of the country to replace coastal Lagos as the seat of government for what is now Africa's biggest economy and top oil producer.

"In some ways it's not a big surprise," said Kole Shettima, director of the Abuja office of U.S. charitable institution, the MacArthur Foundation. "The situation has been escalating.

"It's a statement that they are still around and they can attack Abuja when they want, and instill fear."

There was no immediate claim of responsibility but suspicion is likely to fall on Boko Haram.

Suspected militants killed at least 60 people in an attack on a village in northeast Nigeria late last week. Eight people were killed in a separate attack at a teacher training college.

 

Last Mod: 14 Nisan 2014, 15:41
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