News / Africa

Nigeria President Visits Bombed UN Headquarters

Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan, center, speak to journalists, August 27, 2011 after visiting the explosion site at the United Nation's office in Abuja, Nigeria
Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan, center, speak to journalists, August 27, 2011 after visiting the explosion site at the United Nation's office in Abuja, Nigeria

Nigeria's president has visited the United Nations headquarters in the capital, Abuja, where a car bombing killed at least 19 people.

President Goodluck Jonathan offered condolences Saturday to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for what he called a "dastardly" act.  He said his government is working to bring terrorism "under control," and said it would also work with the United Nations and other world leaders to respond to the attack.

U.S. officials said Saturday that agents from the FBI arrived to help the Nigerian government with the investigation.

Nigeria's government has tightened security in Abuja, with soldiers searching cars at roadblocks and patrolling around the damaged building.

Authorities say the death toll could still rise as hospitals continue to treat at least 60 people wounded in the blast. About 400 people work at the U.N. compound in Abuja, which houses 26 humanitarian and development agencies.

Witnesses say a vehicle forced its way past two security gates at the sprawling U.N. complex shortly before noon Friday, local time, and exploded inside the compound.

A man who identified himself as a spokesman for Boko Haram, an extremist Islamic group in Nigeria, said the group is responsible for the bombing. He told a VOA correspondent with the Hausa Service in Nigeria "this is just the beginning."

The spokesman said the bombing was in response to the military's increased presence in northeastern Borno state, where Boko Haram is very active.

Ban told a meeting of the Security Council Friday such "acts of terrorism are unacceptable." He said a U.N. team will travel to the Nigerian capital to assess the situation. He declined to speculate on who may have carried out the bombing.

Boko Haram has mostly carried out attacks in Nigeria's northeast, but has also claimed responsibility for several attacks in other regions, including the June bombing of Nigeria's national police headquarters in Abuja.

The group wants a strict form of Islamic law called sharia to be more widely imposed across Africa's most populous nation.

Boko Haram launched a violent uprising in July 2009 that was crushed by the Nigerian military. Since then, the group has targeted police, politicians, community leaders and opposition religious figures.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Cambodia Seeks Official UN Maps for Vietnam Border

Notice of request comes as 2 countries open border talks Tuesday after a clash last month More

From South Africa to Vietnam, Cyclists Deliver Message Against Rhino Horns

Appalled by poaching they saw firsthand, sisters embark on tour to raise awareness in countries where rhino horn products are in demand More

Uber Wants Johannesburg Police Protection

Request follows recent protests outside ride-hailing service's Johannesburg office 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.
Getting it Done Beyond a Nuclear Deali
X
July 07, 2015 12:02 PM
If a nuclear deal is reached between Iran and world powers in Vienna, it will be a highly technical road map to be used to monitor nuclear activity in Iran for years to come to ensure Tehran does not make nuclear weapons. Equally as complicated will be dismantling international sanctions that were originally intended to be ironclad. VOA’s Heather Murdock talks to experts about the key challenges any deal will present.
Video

Video Getting it Done Beyond a Nuclear Deal

If a nuclear deal is reached between Iran and world powers in Vienna, it will be a highly technical road map to be used to monitor nuclear activity in Iran for years to come to ensure Tehran does not make nuclear weapons. Equally as complicated will be dismantling international sanctions that were originally intended to be ironclad. VOA’s Heather Murdock talks to experts about the key challenges any deal will present.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.

VOA Blogs