18 killed in blasts near Nige­rian cap­i­tal, say emer­gency ser­vices

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL -

Two ex­plo­sions that ripped through the out­skirts of Nige­ria’s cap­i­tal Abuja have left at least 18 peo­ple dead and 41 wounded, the Na­tional Emer­gency Man­age­ment Agency said on Satur­day.

Both the Nige­rian leader Muham­madu Buhari and U.S. em­bassy con­demned the at­tacks.

“The death toll is now 18 be­cause three peo­ple died in the hos­pi­tals this morn­ing while 41 oth­ers were in­jured and are re­ceiv­ing treat­ment in the hos­pi­tals,” NEMA spokesman Sani Datti told AFP.

The agency had ear­lier given a death toll of 15 and 41 wounded fol­low­ing the blasts late on Fri­day near po­lice sta­tion in Kuje and at a bus stop in Nyanya, in an area pre­vi­ously tar­geted by the Boko Haram Is­lamist group.

Datti told AFP a res­cue op­er­a­tion ended Fri­day night.

“We have com­pleted evac­u­a­tion of the vic­tims. What is left now is to al­low the spe­cial anti-bomb unit of the po­lice to do their job. They are comb­ing the scenes for frag­ments of ex­plo­sives for their in­ves­ti­ga­tion,” he said.

He said the en­tire area had been cor­doned off.

The po­lice said Satur­day the bomb­ings were the hand­i­work of sui­cide bombers.

“Pre­lim­i­nary in­ves­ti­ga­tions re­vealed the bomb blasts were car­ried out by two sui­cide bombers — a male and a fe­male,” the po­lice said in a state­ment.

It said the In­spec­tor-Gen­eral of Po­lice, Solomon Arase, had or­dered mas­sive stop-and-search ac­tiv­i­ties in the city and ad­vised res­i­dents not to panic.

“Fol­low­ing the in­ci­dents the po­lice high com­mand or­dered an im­me­di­ate de­ploy­ment of po­lice ex­plo­sives ord­nance dis­posal units to the scenes to pre­vent fur­ther de­struc­tions,” it said.

It urged Nige­ri­ans to be vig­i­lant and re­port any sus­pi­cious per­sons or ob­jects to the se­cu­rity agen­cies.

Kuje, near Abuja’s air­port, is some 40 kilo­me­ters (24 miles) from the city cen­ter and seat of gov­ern­ment. Its prison has been re­ported to be hold­ing dozens of Boko Haram pris­on­ers cap­tured by troops.

The same bus sta­tion in Nyanya was hit twice last year.

The first at­tack, on April 14 2014, left at least 75 dead and was claimed by the Is­lamists; the sec­ond, on May 1, left at least 16 dead.

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