News / Africa

Death Toll Rises in Bombing of Nigerian Independence Celebrations

Smoke and debris fill the sky seconds after a car bomb explodes alongside firemen responding to an initial car bomb that had exploded five minutes earlier, in Abuja, Nigeria, 01 Oct 2010
Smoke and debris fill the sky seconds after a car bomb explodes alongside firemen responding to an initial car bomb that had exploded five minutes earlier, in Abuja, Nigeria, 01 Oct 2010

Police in Nigeria say the death toll from Friday's car bombs in Abuja has risen to 12. Militants from the oil-rich Niger Delta carried out the attack on Nigeria's 50th anniversary of independence.

The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta says it set off the bombs because Nigeria has nothing worth celebrating after 50 years of failure.

It is the group's biggest attack outside the Delta and shows an increasing aggressiveness striking in the capital during an event with high security where President Goodluck Jonathan and foreign diplomats were marking the anniversary of independence.

A written statement from the presidency condemned the bombings as a low, dirty and wicked act of desperation by criminals and murderers. It said the president grieves with families who lost loved ones and wants those behind the attacks to know that they will be found and will pay dearly for this heinous crime.

Authorities Saturday continued to clean up the site of the twin car bombings near a federal court building. Abuja resident Mohammed Abu says the city is in shock.

"I feel sad about the bomb blast of yesterday because it's like a sabotage, because in the history of this country such things have not happened before," he said. "We have had a grenade blast by a little mistake by the military but it was not in public, but this very one in fact, it is a group of people that did it."

Some Niger Delta militants accepted a government amnesty last year that promised monthly stipends and job training as well as greater investment in the region's infrastructure. But many now say the federal government has failed to deliver. Violence resumed in March with a bomb near the site of a meeting to discuss the amnesty program.

Abuja resident Godwin Okoli says no one expected an attack in the capital. "It is a surprise to everybody, even we in Nigeria here, we have Nigerian army, we have navy, we have air force, we have police, we have... and those forces they have anti-bomb squad. It's a surprise to everybody that something like this happened without detecting," he said.

About an hour before the blasts, militants warned Nigerians to stay away from the independence day ceremonies. Abuja resident Elkana Habila says the bombings hurt the country's imagine just as it should be celebrating 50 years of nationhood.

"This is a very massive blow to the Nigerian government as a whole, you understand, and it will portray the country in a very bad light, you understand - the image of the country, because it will scare away foreign investors from investing in this country and it will affect the economy," said Habila.

The U.S. State Department condemned the bombings. In a written statement, the Obama administration said it is unfortunate that there are those who would resort to violence at a critical time when Nigeria is moving toward new elections next year.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid