Eyewitness Describes Deadly Aftermath of Nigeria Easter Bombing

Security personnel inspect the mangled remains of bomb-laden car that exploded  along junction road near a church, Kaduna, Nigeria,  April 8, 2012.
Security personnel inspect the mangled remains of bomb-laden car that exploded along junction road near a church, Kaduna, Nigeria, April 8, 2012.


Ricci Shryock

Shortly after a car bomb exploded on Easter Sunday in Kaduna, Nigeria, Hafsat Mohamed Baba rushed to the scene to assist with the wounded.

Once there, the opposition politician accompanied an injured 11-year-old girl to a nearby hospital, where Baba saw the bodies of several who had already died.

“There are so many casualties. When I visited the hospital, people were laying on the floor, some were in the [operating] theater, some with their bellies open, intestines out, people were bleeding and the nurses and the doctors were running helter-skelter looking for blood.”

Officials say the bomb outside a church killed at least 20 people.

Baba, a leader in the Action Congress of Nigeria party, said the blast was “in the heart of Kaduna” - her hometown.

“There are people on bikes, there are people in the taxis, it’s a commercial area and there are so many people there - buses coming to drop people and to pick people from the bus stop - it is really a congested area.”

She added the scene at 44 Army Reference Hospital, where many of the wounded were being treated, was chaotic.

“There were so many injured people, actually some very serious,” she said of the scene. “In fact some were even in the [operating] theater,” Baba said. “There were really more than 20… so many people.”

As of late Sunday, no group had claimed responsibility for the bombing, though militant anti-government sect Boko Haram is known for staging large attacks against Christians during holidays. Experts say the Islamist group has splintered into many factions of varying extremism, some of which claim ties to regional Al-Qaeda franchises.

“Yes there are speculations, because for something of this nature, people feel that it is Boko Haram, even though the Boko Haram has not come out to claim the responsibility,” said Baba. “But people are really more concerned about the causalities. A lot of people have lost their loved ones.”

She said the streets of normally lively Kaduna were extremely quiet Sunday night.

“The streets are virtually almost deserted. But you see a few cars. The security has been zipped up really tight,” she said. “People are so moody, especially this festive period, people were not expecting to have anything like that. Actually the whole atmosphere is really that of, people are really disturbed.”

Baba added that Christians and Muslims in Kaduna usually live together in peace.

“Actually there’s harmony between the religions and there’s good understanding,” she said “People engage themselves, both religions, there’s not actually that kind of divide. We work together, we eat together, we dance together, we celebrate together.”

Nigeria’s government has offered cash rewards for information about Boko Haram. However, despite assurances that their cooperation would remain confidential, residents have said they are scared of reprisal attacks.

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Talha
April 10, 2012 10:44 AM
"When will moderate Isllamic leaders condemn Boko Haram?"

Many already have, including the Sultan of Sokoto; Muslim clerics who criticize the group have already been targeted by this group and the Sultan of Sokoto has been given a warning that they will strike in Sokoto if their members are not released. Please do research before asking an obviously biased rhetorical question.

by: Gerrit
April 09, 2012 3:39 AM
When will moderate Isllamic leaders condemn Boko Haram?

by: Kingsley
April 09, 2012 2:29 AM
Evil will get tired someday.... and good will reign

by: Kathleen
April 08, 2012 6:03 PM
Why do we always have to fight over religion and why does mankind think that violence is the only answer.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continuesi
Ayesha Tanzeem
November 25, 2015 10:46 PM
One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continues

One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against IS

The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Americans Sharpen Focus on Terrorism

Washington will be quieter than usual this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, even as Americans across the nation register heightened concerns over possible terrorist threats. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports new polling data from ABC News and the Washington Post newspaper show an electorate increasingly focused on security issues after the deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris.

Video World Leaders Head to Paris for Climate Deal

Heads of state from nearly 80 countries are heading to Paris (November 30-December 11) to craft a global climate change agreement. The new accord will replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that expired in 2012.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

Video Creating Physical Virtual Reality With Tiny Drones

As many computer gamers know, virtual reality is a three-dimensional picture, projected inside special googles. It can fool your brain into thinking the computer world is the real world. But If you try to touch it, it’s not there. Now Canadian researchers say it may be possible to create a physical virtual reality using tiny drones. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video New American Indian Village Takes Visitors Back in Time

There is precious little opportunity to experience what life was like in the United States before its colonization by European settlers. Now, an American Indian village built in a park outside Washington is taking visitors back in time to experience the way of life of America's indigenous people. Carol Pearson narrates this report from VOA's June Soh.

Video Even With Hometown Liberated, Yazidi Refugees Fear Return

While the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar has been liberated from Islamic State forces, it's not clear whether Yazidi residents who fled the militants will now return home. VOA’s Mahmut Bozarslan talked with Yazidis, a religious and ethnic minority, at a Turkish refugee camp in Diyarbakır. Robert Raffaele narrates his report.

Video Nairobi Tailors Make Pope Francis’ Vestments

To ensure the pope is properly attired during his visit, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops asked the Dolly Craft Sewing Project in the Nairobi slum of Kangemi to make the pope's vestments, the garments he will wear during the various ceremonies. Jill Craig reports.

Video Cross-Border Terrorism Puts Europe’s Passport-Free Travel in Doubt

The fallout from the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris has put the future of Europe’s passport-free travel area, known as the "Schengen Zone," in doubt. Several of the perpetrators were known to intelligence agencies, but were not intercepted. Henry Ridgwell reports from London European ministers are to hold an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to look at ways of improving security.

Video El Niño Brings Unexpected Fish From Mexico to California

Fish in an unexpected spectrum of sizes, shapes and colors are moving north, through El Niño's warm currents from Mexican waters to the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast. El Nino is the periodic warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this phenomenon thrills scientists and gives anglers the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime big catch. Faith Lapidus narrates.

Video Terrorism in Many Forms Continues to Plague Africa

While the world's attention is on Paris in the wake of Friday night's deadly attacks, terrorism from various sides remains a looming threat in many African countries. Nigerian cities have been targeted this week by attacks many believe were staged by the violent Islamist group Boko Haram. In addition, residents in many regions are forced to flee their homes as they are terrorized by armed militias. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Study: Underage Marriage Rate Higher for Females in Pakistan

While attitudes about the societal role of females in Pakistan are evolving, research by child advocacy group Plan International suggests that underage marriage of girls remains a particularly big issue in the country. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports how such marriages leads to further social problems.

VOA Blogs