71 killed in blasts at bus station in Nigeria

Monday 14 April 2014 18.52
The cause of the explosions at the Nyanya Bus Park was not immediately clear
The cause of the explosions at the Nyanya Bus Park was not immediately clear

Twin blasts at a bus station packed with commuters on the outskirts of Nigeria's capital this morning killed 71 people and injured 124 others, police have said.

The wounded are receiving treatment at hospitals within and around Abuja, national police spokesman Frank Mba told journalists at the scene.

The cause of the explosions at the Nyanya Bus Park, roughly 5km south of Abuja, was not immediately clear.

The city has been attacked previously by Boko Haram insurgents, who say they are fighting to create a strict Islamic state in northern Nigeria.

An AFP reporter at the scene said there were signs of a major explosion, with the remnants of charred vehicles scattered in the area.

Some of the small shops at the station had been damaged or destroyed.

The private Channels television network showed images of thick black smoke billowing out from the station.

Boko Haram is blamed for scores of attacks across northern and central Nigeria that have killed thousands since 2009.

In 2011 it carried out a suicide car bombing at a United Nations building in Abuja that killed at least 26 people, one of its most prominent attacks.

Most of the group's recent violence, however, has been in the remote northeast of the country.

An attack on the outskirts of Abuja would cast further doubt on the military's claim that the insurgents have been weakened and lack the capacity to strike prominent targets.

Boko Haram attacks have already killed more than 1,500 people this year, according to Amnesty International.

Keywords: nigeria