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

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid