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

    Candidates' Comments Fly Like New Hampshire Snowflakes

    Four days ahead of the country's first-in-the-nation Republican and Democratic party primary elections, surveys show the parties' contests tightening

    South Korea Says North Korea Moving Closer to Rocket Launch

    In phone call, US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping agree that Pyongyang's move would be 'provocative'

    Australian Commander: IS Changing Tactics

    Head of Australian forces in Middle East talks with VOA about training Iraqi troops, countering evolving Islamic State efforts and defeating extremism

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

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.