March 6, 2011 By

Nigeria Violence: 71 Killed In Abuja Bus Blasts

bus blastAt least seventy people have been killed and several injured in a bomb blast on Monday at a crowded bus station, 8km southwest of central Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

Security experts suspect the explosion occurred inside a vehicle, Air Commodore Charles Otegbade, said the director of search and rescue operations. The passengers were about to board the buses and taxis to go to workplaces, reports say. The blast left a hole four feet deep in the compound of Nyanya Motor Park, destroying more than thirty vehicles and triggering secondary explosions as their fuel tanks ignited and burned, the Associated Press news agency reports. Several bodies have been recovered and the rescue workers and police continue the rescue process with the ambulances taking the dead and injured to nearby hospitals.

President Goodluck Jonathan visited the site later on Monday and said that Nigeria would overcome the insurgency.  The bus station serves Nyanya, a small town populated with destitute government and civil society workers.

No responsibility has been claimed for the explosion till now.  Authorities suspect the rebellious group, Boko Haram, who are mainly active in the north east. The armed group targets civilians it accuses of collaborating with the government or security forces. Boko Haram has carried out several attacks before in and around Abuja, including a 2011 car bombing at the UN headquarters in the city that killed at least 26 people. Boko Haram is alleged to have killed more than 1,500 civilians in three states in north-east Nigeria this year.

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