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Africa News
Nigeria Bomb Blast Kills at Least 20
From the Wall Street Journal of Mon, 22 Dec 2014 16:08:03 EST
The scene of a bomb blast in Gombe, Nigeria, on Monday.
The scene of a bomb blast in Gombe, Nigeria, on Monday. European Pressphoto Agency

A bomb blast killed at least 20 people at a bus station in the northeastern Nigerian city of Gombe on Monday, the local chapter of the Red Cross said, in what appeared to be the latest attack by Islamic insurgent group Boko Haram.

The blast struck as a large crowd waited to board buses at a time when many Nigerians are heading to their home villages for Christmas, said Abubakar Yakubu, secretary of the Nigerian Red Cross, who also took part in the rescue effort. The death toll was likely to rise, he said, as about 20 of the 60 injured were in a critical condition at a nearby hospital.

A police spokesman put the number of casualties at 19. “We have commenced an investigation into the incident and we hope to intercept the perpetrators,” said spokesman Emmanuel Ojukwu.

A second blast Monday afternoon struck a market in the nearby city of Bauchi. It killed at least five, said Inuwa Bello, chairman of the local Bauchi State Emergency Relief Committee.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Monday’s attacks.

Christmas is a season of frequent bomb strikes in northern Nigeria, where Boko Haram hopes to create an Islamic caliphate free of Christians and Muslims who don’t share its violent fundamentalist thinking. While no one has claimed Monday’s attacks, Boko Haram frequently strikes bus stations and other crowded spaces in Nigeria, which with 174 million people is Africa’s most populous nation.

Write to Gbenga Akingbule at gbenga.akingbule@wsj.com



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