19 April 2014

Nigeria: Boko Haram Claims Responsibility for Abuja Bombing

Photo: Leadership
Burnt-out busses after an attack at a bus station packed with morning commuters in Abuja

The extremist Boko Haram sect has claimed responsibility for Monday's deadly car bomb at Nyanya bus station near Abuja, which killed at least 75 people and injured 124 more.

"We are the ones that carried out the attack in Abuja," Boko Haram's leader, Abubakar Shekau, was quoted as saying in a new video obtained by the AFP news agency.

PREMIUM TIMES has not independently verified the report, but the French news agency has published several videos from the extremist group in the past. The agency said the video was delivered in a manner consistent with previous videos from the Boko Haram sect.

In the 28-minute clip, Mr. Shekau is dressed in military uniform and sits with a Kalashnikov resting on his left shoulder, the AFP reported. He spoke in both Arabic and Hausa.

"We are in your city but you don't know where we are," the terrorist leader quipped at President Goodluck Jonathan.

The Nyanya car bomb targeted ordinary working class people leaving early for work in Abuja's city centre. Police and witnesses have spoken of a lone man driving a Volkswagen Gulf into the packed bus station and detonating the bomb-laden car.

The attack was followed hours later by the mass abduction of at least 129 girls from Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State.

The state authorities say 44 of the girls have now been joined with the families having escaped from their captors.

The video made no reference to the kidnappings.

While the Nigerian government immediately blamed Boko Haram for the Abuja bombing on Monday, little is known of the efforts by law enforcement at apprehending and punishing the perpetrators.

Thea attack was the first major onslaught on Abuja in two years.

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