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

    Top US General: Turkish Media Report ‘Absurd'

    General Dunford rejects ‘irresponsible' claims of coup involvement by former four-star Army General Campbell, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan before retiring earlier this year

    Video Saving Ethiopian Children Thought to Be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at efforts of one African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children

    Protests Over Western Troops Threaten Libyan 'Unity' Government

    Fears mount that Islamist foes of ‘unity' government plan to declare a revolutionaries' council in Tripoli

    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

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora