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

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus 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.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid