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

Video Positive Messaging Helps Revamp Ethiopia's Image

In country once connected with war, poverty, famine, headlines now focus on fast-growing economy, diplomatic reputation More

Russian Activist Thinks Kremlin Ordered Nemtsov's Death

Alexei Navalny says comments of Russian liberals who think government wasn't involved are 'nonsense.' More

Video Land Disputes Rise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers 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.
Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Imagei
X
Marthe van der Wolf
March 03, 2015 9:03 PM
Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.
Video

Video Land Disputes Arise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Ugandan police say there has been a sharp increase in land disputes, with 10 new cases being reported each day. The claims come amid an oil boom as investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers. Meanwhile, the people who have been living on the land for decades are chased away, sometimes with a heavy hand. VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
Video

Video In Russia, Many Doubt Opposition Leader's Killer Will Be Found

The funeral has been held in Moscow for Boris Nemtsov, the opposition leader who was assassinated late Friday just meters from the Kremlin. Nemtsov joins a growing list of outspoken critics of Russia under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin who are believed to have been murdered for their work. VOA’s Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Simulated Astronauts Get Taste of Mars, in Hawaii

For generations, people have dreamed of traveling to Mars to explore Earth's closest planetary neighbor. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that while space agencies like NASA are planning manned missions to the planet, some volunteers in Hawaii are learning how humans will cope with months in isolation on a Mars base.
Video

Video Destruction of Iraq Artifacts Shocks Archaeologists

The city of Mosul was once one of the most culturally rich and religiously diverse cities in Iraq. That tradition is under attack by members of the Islamic State who have made Mosul their capital city. The Mosul Museum is the latest target of the group’s campaign of terror and destruction, and is of grave concern to archaeologists around the world. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Prepare to Defend Mariupol

Despite the ongoing ceasefire in Ukraine, soldiers in the city of Mariupol fear that pro-Russian separatists may be getting ready to attack. The separatists must take or encircle the city if they wish to gain land access to Crimea, which was annexed by Russia early last year. But Ukrainian forces, many of them volunteers, say they are determined to defend it. Patrick Wells reports from Mariupol.
Video

Video Moscow Restaurants Suffer in Bad Economy, Look for Opportunity

As low oil prices and Western sanctions force Russia's economy into recession, thousands of Moscow restaurants are expected to close their doors. Restaurant owners face rents tied to foreign currency, while rising food prices mean Russians are spending less when they dine out. One entrepreneur in Moscow has started a dinner kit delivery service for those who want to cook at home to save money but not skimp on quality. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Presidential Hopefuls Battle for Conservative Hearts and Minds

One after another, presumptive Republican presidential contenders auditioned for conservative support this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference held outside Washington. The rhetoric was tough as a large field of potential candidates tried to woo conservative support with red-meat attacks on President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress. VOA Political Columnist Jim Malone takes a look.
Video

Video Southern US Cities Preserve Civil Rights Heritage to Boost Tourism

There has been a surge of interest in the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s, thanks in part to the Hollywood motion picture "Selma." Five decades later, communities in the South are embracing the dark chapters of their past with hopes of luring tourism dollars. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More