Abuja blast ‘hits’ Nigeria police headquarters

BBC

An emergency official told Reuters news agency that a suspected suicide bomber had died in the explosion.  A large plume of smoke can be seen rising from near the building. No-one has claimed responsibility for the attack.  However, Islamist group Boko Haram has recently been targeting police and government officials.  The BBC’s Jonah Fisher in Lagos says for the Nigerian authorities the attack is an embarrassing strike at the very heart of their security establishment.  “A suicide bomber died in the incident and many vehicles were destroyed,” a spokesman for the National Emergency Management Agency said.  Residents say the explosion was heard across the city.

“My windows were shaking and I heard the loud noise. I saw smoke coming up. I think it was from the car park of the police station,” Reuters quotes one witness as telling a local television station.  An eyewitness told the BBC Hausa Service that he heard two explosions and saw more than 30 dead bodies and about 40 vehicles destroyed by the explosions.

Inauguration bombing

Most of Boko Haram’s attacks have been in the northern city of Maiduguri.  But the group said it was behind a series of bombings that took place hours after President Goodluck Jonathan’s inauguration last month.  The group accuses Nigeria’s government of being corrupted by Western ideas and wants to.  It has killed dozens of people, mostly shot by gunmen riding motorbikes, in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state.  Last year, officials blamed two explosions in Abuja during celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of Nigeria’s independence on militants from the oil-rich Niger Delta.