News / Africa

Witness: Nigeria Blasts Kill Dozens

Military officers walk past scene of explosion in Kaduna, northern Nigeria, July 23, 2014.
Military officers walk past scene of explosion in Kaduna, northern Nigeria, July 23, 2014.
Heather Murdock

A pair of explosions rocked the northern Nigerian city of Kaduna on Wednesday, killing at least 25 people.

Police say a bomb apparently targeted the convoy of prominent, moderate Muslim cleric Sheikh Dahiru Bauchi, who had just finished an outdoor service for thousands of people in Murtala Muhammed square. The cleric escaped unharmed but at least 25 people were killed.

Less than three hours later, a second explosion took place in a crowded Kaduna market, where a VOA reporter on the scene counted dozens of bodies.

There were no immediate claims of responsibility for either blast. Islamist militant group Boko Haram has previously targeted and killed clerics who criticize its hardline ideology and markets.

Sheik Bauchi, who is known for preaching against the insurgent group, had called the organization “un-Islamic.”

At the scene of the first blast in Kaduna, witnesses say the bomb appeared to be targeting Bauchi, who had just finished .  

“We saw casualties," said Lawan Ciroma, who witnessed the carnage at the site of the first blast. "So many people died. They say a bomb just blast now and when Sheik Dahiru Bauchi was closing, when he was passing, when he was going home. Immediately after he passed, the bomb just blast.”

According to Police Commissioner Umar Usman Shehu, the bomber targeting Bauchi was a boy in a vehicle who died in the attack.

“The boy scattered his legs, his head - everything separate,” Shehu said.

After the bombing, police threw tear gas to force people away from the scene, fearing another attack in the same place.

The next bombing struck a busy marketplace on the other side of Kaduna, where witnesses say dozens of bodies lay scattered on the ground afterward.

Opposition leader and former president Muhammadu Buhari, who was in the area, escaped unharmed

Authorities on Wednesday imposed a 24-hour curfew in Kaduna, which lies outside the region of northern Nigeria under emergency rule. The city has been attacked by insurgents many times.

100th day of captivity

The explosions occurred on the same day that activists marked the 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram.

The Islamist militant group abducted the girls from their school in the northeastern town of Chibok on April 14.

In a statement, organizers of the Bring Back Our Girls social media campaign said the families and communities of the abducted girls had "suffered deep anguish [and are] seeking effective rescue to end peril that befell their daughters." 

Ahead of Wednesday's events, organizer Bukky Shonibare expressed optimism that the girls would be freed soon.

"We believe that anything can happen swiftly, so if there is anything we expect from the president ... it is for our girls to return now so that instead of commemorating day 100, we all come out jump on the street, dance and celebrate the gallant return of our girls," she said.

The rallies are taking place a day after Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan held his first meeting with some of the parents of the kidnapped girls, along with some of the girls who managed to escape.

After the closed-door meeting in Abuja, presidential spokesman Reuben Abati said Jonathan repeated his pledge to rescue the girls.

Esther Yakubu, the mother of one of the abducted girls, said the Chibok community has been living in fear since the kidnappings.

"Those that have wealth a bit, they leave entirely the Chibok land to another place to hide their life, but we that are poor we are the ones living there," she said. 

In a statement, Bring Back Our Girls said its events on Wednesday include a "remembrance service" in Lagos and a candlelight vigil at the Nigerian consulate in New York.

Ibrahima Yakubu contributed to this report from Kaduna.

You May Like

Multimedia Baltimore 'Victory Rally' Follows Charges in Detainee Death

Saturday's rally is largest organized gathering since state's attonrey filed felony charges in police-custody death of Freddie Gray More

UN Denies Child Sex Abuse Cover Up in CAR

UNHCR says senior official suspected of leaking report suspended for breaching rules More

Nepal Officials Slammed Over Aid Response

VOA News has compiled from various organizations complaints from across Nepal of bottlenecks at customs, repeated harassing inspections of aid convoys and seizure of goods More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Bilyaminu Abdulmumini from: Wukari Taraba State
July 24, 2014 4:15 AM
This is biafra revenge

by: Bayo Lawal from: Ughelli,Delta State
July 23, 2014 7:55 PM
It should be very clear to all and sundry that the Boko Haram Movement is not a movement based on Islamic ideology nor supported by Nigeria's Muslims. Muslims and Islamic scholars have been condemning cruela ctivity of the terrorist body. Those criticising the Bako Haram insurgents have been killed by the faceless body that are hiding under the name of Allah to perpetrate their notorious activities. The recent attempt on Sheik Dahiru Baluchi's life in the bomb blast in Kaduna is a clear evidence of this.

The second bomb blast at the Kaduna market area where Muhammadu Buhari of the opposition party APC is another indication that opposition party APC nor Muhammadu Buhari is not a sponsore of the terrorist group.

Though Churches and Christians suffered a great deal in the hands of Bako Haram but the recent developments whereby bombs are thrown indiscriminately at public places is enough evidence that Bako Haram insurgency is a total on Nigeria and Nigerians. It is therefore incumbent one every Nigerians irrespective of their political ,religious and ethnicity diversity to unit to condemned the Bako Haram Movement and cooperate to fight the terrorists.
The Government should accept and face reality by stopping playing politics with Bako Haram activities. The Government should strategise rather than accusing opposition parties of been behind Bako Haram. Intelligence and experience from success achieved by other countries especially America should be explored in combating the terrorist attacks of Book Haram.
Opposition political parties cooperate and assist government by giving useful advice and support to the government in order to demobilise Book Harram.
The Nigeria people should give useful information to the government and relevant security agents to get to the base of Bako Haram people. Bako Haram are not goasts, they are not existing in isolation therefore. people should know the terrorist for the peaceful co-existence of everybody

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
From Aleppo To Berlin: Band of Brothers Escapes Civil Wari
X
Henry Ridgwell
May 03, 2015 1:12 AM
Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have fled the civil war in their country and journeyed to Europe by boat across the Mediterranean. It is a terrifying ordeal with dangers at every turn. A group of Syrian brothers and their friends describe their ordeal as they try to reach Germany. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports. ...
Video

Video From Aleppo To Berlin: Band of Brothers Escapes Civil War

Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have fled the civil war in their country and journeyed to Europe by boat across the Mediterranean. It is a terrifying ordeal with dangers at every turn. A group of Syrian brothers and their friends describe their ordeal as they try to reach Germany. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports. ...
Video

Video Rural Nepal Suffers Brunt of Quake’s Devastation

Nepal is still coming to grips with the full extent of the devastation and misery caused by last Saturday’s magnitude 7.8 earthquake. Some of the hardest-hit communities have been cut off by landslides making it difficult to assess the precise toll. A VOA News crew has been among the first to reach a few of the smaller, remote communities. Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Sindhupolchak district, east of Kathmandu, which suffered greatly in Nepal’s worst quake in more than 80 years.
Video

Video Black Families Use Baltimore Case to Revisit 'Police Talk'

Following Freddie Gray’s death in police custody this month, VOA interviewed black families throughout the eastern U.S. city of Baltimore about how they discuss the case. Over and over, parents pointed to a crucial talk they say every black mother or father has with their children. Victoria Macchi has more on how this conversation is passed down through generations.
Video

Video Middle East Atheist Channel Defies Taboo

In Egypt, a deeply religious country in a deeply religious region, atheism is not only taboo, it is dangerous. It is sometimes even criminal to publicly declare nonbelief. Despite the danger, one group of activists is pushing back with a new online channel that defends the right not to believe. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Nepal Quake Survivors Tell Their Stories

Against all hope, rescuers have found a few more survivors of the devastating earthquake that hit Nepal last Saturday. Mountain climbers and hikers trapped in remote places also have been airlifted to safety, and aid is finally reaching people in the areas closest to the quake's epicenter. Survivors and rescuers are now recounting their experience. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Lessons for Germany, Europe Remain on Anniversary of WWII's End

The 70th anniversary of the end of World War II will be marked May 8-9 in all European countries except Germany, which lost the war. How is the war viewed there, and what impact is it still having? From Berlin, VOA’s Al Pessin reports.
Video

Video 'Woman in Gold' Uses Artwork as Symbol of Cultural Identity

Simon Curtis’ legal drama, "Woman in Gold," is based on the true story of an American Jewish refugee from Austria who fights to reclaim a famous Gustav Klimt painting stolen from her family by the Nazis during World War II. It's a haunting film that speaks to the hearts of millions who have sought to reclaim their past, stripped from them 70 years ago. VOA's Penelope Poulou reports.
Video

Video Nepal Town Destroyed By Quake Counts Itself Lucky

Foreign search teams on Wednesday began reaching some of the communities outside Kathmandu that suffered worse damage than Nepal’s capital from last Saturday’s massive earthquake. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman is in Sankhu - a town of about 10,000 people - where there is relief the death toll is not higher despite widespread destruction.
Video

Video First Surgical Glue Approved for Use Inside Body

While medical adhesives are becoming more common, none had been approved for use inside the body until now. Earlier this year, the first ever biodegradable surgical glue won that approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on the innovation and its journey from academia to market.
Video

Video Somali Hotel Chain Owner Strives to Make a Difference

Many in the Somali diaspora are returning home to make a new life despite the continuing risks. Since 2011 when a military campaign against Al-Shabab militants began making progress, members of the diaspora community have come back to open hospitals, schools, hotels, restaurants and other businesses. Abdulaziz Billow in Mogadishu profiles the owner of a chain of hotels and restaurants who is helping to bring change to the once-deadly Somali capital.
Video

Video Study: One in Six Species Threatened with Extinction

Climate change is transforming the planet. Unless steps are taken to reduce global warming, scientists predict rising seas, stronger and more frequent storms, drought, fire and floods. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, a new study on species extinction underscores the need to take action to avoid the most catastrophic effects of rising temperatures.
Video

Video Taviani Brothers' 'Wondrous Boccaccio' Offers Tales of Love, Humor

The Italian duo of Paolo and Vittorio Taviani have been making movies for half a century: "The Night of the Shooting Stars," "Padre Padrone," "Good Morning, Babylon." Now in their 80s, the brothers have turned to one of the treasures of Italian culture for their latest film. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver reports.
Video

Video Child Migrants Cross Mediterranean Alone, Face Unknown Future

Among the thousands of migrants making the deadly journey by boat to Europe, there are unaccompanied girls and boys. Some have been sent by relatives to earn money; others are orphaned or fleeing war. From a shelter for young migrants in the Sicilian town of Caltagirone, VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Baltimore Riots Shed Light on City’s Troubled Past

National Guard troops took up positions Tuesday in Baltimore, Maryland, as authorities tried to restore order after rioting broke out a day earlier. It followed Monday's funeral of a 25-year-old black man who died while in police custody earlier this month. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.
Video

Video Challenges Await Aid Organizations on the Ground in Nepal

A major earthquake rocked Nepal on Saturday and killed thousands, injured thousands more and sent countless Nepalese outside to live in makeshift tent villages. The challenges to Nepal are enormous, with some reconstruction estimates at around $5 billion. Aid workers from around the world face challenges getting into Nepal, which likely makes for a difficult recovery. Arash Arabasadi has the story from Washington.

Poll: Baltimore Police Charged

Poll archive

VOA Blogs