Posted by News Express | 14 April 2014 | 4,476 times
More than 70 people have been officially confirmed killed in the twin blasts that rocked a crowded bus station in Nyanya on the outskirts of Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, this morning.
Abbas Idris, head of the Abuja Emergency Relief Agency, told the BBC that so far they have confirmed 71 people dead and 124 injured.
However, some eyewitnesses who have been recounting their experiences on social media networks quote up to 200 dead. News Express, which was among the first to report the blast, earlier indicated that at least 50 persons were left dead in the incident.
The blast happened as commuters were about to board buses and taxis to go to work in central Abuja, the BBC's Haruna Tangaza reports.
The first of its kind in Abuja since 2012, this is believed to be another attack by the Islamist militant group known as Boko Haram.
Eyewitness Badamasi Nyanya said he had seen 40 bodies being evacuated; other eyewitnesses say they saw rescue workers and police gathering body parts.
The blast ripped a hole four feet deep (1.2 metre) in the ground of Nyanya Motor Park, some 16km (10 miles) from the city centre, and destroyed more than 30 vehicles, causing secondary explosions as their fuel tanks ignited and burned, the Associated Press news agency reports.
Ambulances have been taking the dead and injured to nearby hospitals.
Eyewitness Mimi Daniels, who works in Abuja, told Reuters: “I was waiting to get on a bus when I heard a deafening explosion then smoke. People were running around in panic.”
Another eyewitness told the BBC: “I have never seen [anything] like that in my life. It was just terrible... We were just running helter-skelter. So somehow I think that they planted something inside one of the buses there.
“So there are many dead shot down at the scene of the accident. And as you can see now some of these casualties... we are hoping, we are praying they will be ok. We saw some ambulances bringing corpses to other hospitals.”
He added it was difficult to estimate how many had been killed in the attack, but that there were many.
This year, Boko Haram’s fighters have killed more than 1,500 civilians in three states in north-east Nigeria. The terrorist group has hit Abuja several times before, including an attack on the United Nations building in 2011.
•Photo courtesy of BBC shows victims of the Abuja bomb blast being taken to hospital.
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