News / Africa

Blast Kills 21 at Nigeria World Cup Viewing Center

  • Victims of a suicide bomb explosion at a World Cup viewing center receive treatment at Sani Abacha specialist hospital in Damaturu, Nigeria, June 18, 2014.
  • Damaged buildings and bloodstains on the street can be seen following a suicide bomb explosion at a World Cup viewing center, Damaturu, Nigeria, June 18, 2014.
  • Heavily damaged buildings and bloodstains on the street can be seen following a suicide bomb explosion at a World Cup viewing center, Damaturu, Nigeria, June 18, 2014.
Heather Murdock
— A bomb blast at a site where Nigerian football (soccer) fans had gathered to watch the World Cup has killed at least 21 people.
 
Hospital sources said Wednesday that 27 others were injured in the blast, which took place late Tuesday in the northeastern town of Damaturu.
 
Scores of people had gathered at an outdoor viewing center to watch the match between Brazil and Mexico on large screens. So-called "viewing centers," where fans can watch the games for a small fee, are becoming a target for terrorists.
 
Witnesses say a bomb apparently hidden in a tricycle taxi exploded shortly after the match got under way.
 
There have been no claims of responsibility. 

 
Damaturu, NigeriaDamaturu, Nigeria
x
Damaturu, Nigeria
Damaturu, Nigeria
Damaturu is the capital of Yobe, one of three northeastern states that have been under a state of emergency following a string of deadly attacks linked to the Boko Haram Islamist militant group.
 
Last week, authorities in the states of Adamawa and Plateau ordered viewing centers closed because of fear of possible attacks.
 
In northeastern Nigeria, where the Boko Haram’s five-year insurgency has killed thousands of people and crushed the economy, football is one of the few pleasures left.
 
A popular spectator sport

Boko Haram preaches its own harsh version of Islamic law that rejects all things Western, including football. But the sport remains hugely popular, with TV ratings indicating at least 17.5 million people in Nigeria alone watching Monday evening’s scoreless World Cup match between Nigeria and Iran.  
 
Free TV channels in Nigeria don’t show the World Cup. But for about 25 cents, fans across the country can go to "viewing centers," which are often as informal as a television set and a bunch of chairs.
 
Tuesday night’s bombing at the Yobe viewing station during the Brazil/Mexico World Cup match may deter some fans from watching at public gathering spots.
 
"Definitely I’m thinking of watching [World Cup matches] at home, because going to the viewing center has become something else with the recent bombing all over," said Beauty Zopti, a fan living in the neighboring northern state of Bauchi.

Previous attacks
 
In late May, 40 people were killed watching a football match in Adamawa state, prompting a statewide ban on formal viewing centers. Two weeks earlier, in Plateau state, security forces stopped an attempted attack on a viewing center, but three people were still killed, including the bomber. 
 
In recent months, the Boko Haram insurgency appears to have escalated, with more than 2,000 people killed this year alone and hundreds of schoolgirls kidnapped.  Gunmen took more than 200 girls captive on April 14.
 
"Massacres have been occurring with regularity and some communities have actually been wiped out over the last six weeks," said Jibrin Ibrahim, executive director of the Center for Democracy and Development in Abuja, adding that "the insurgency is getting worse."
 
The United Nations says roughly half a million people have fled their homes because of the violence.

You May Like

Mali's Female Basketball Players Rebound After Islamist Occupation

Islamist extremists ruled northern Mali for most of 2012, imposing strict Sharia law, and now some 18 months later, the region is slowly getting back on its feet More

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

Many Chinese-made products go unsold, for now, with numerous Vietnamese consumers still angry over recent dispute More

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Muana Kasongo from: DRC
June 18, 2014 6:15 AM
It's time for the International Community to crack down on Boko Haram sect. If not, Africa would be set on fire.


by: Marg from: Enfield
June 18, 2014 1:04 AM
Nigeria will NEVER EVER become an Islamic country......no matter how much bombings these so called bokoharam do to innocent civilians, they think by ruling with an iron fist things will turn in their favour, well they have got this one wrong!!!! There is a God, & pay day is coming soon to some bullies!!!!!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
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 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.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
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 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 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.

AppleAndroid