An explosion has hit the outskirts of Nigeria’s capital Abuja, just meters away from the site of a bomb blast that left 75 people dead less than a month ago. Witnesses say several people have been killed.
At least 12 people were killed on Thursday when an apparent car bomb was detonated close to a bus station in the suburb of Nyanya.
Civil Corps Defense spokesman Eman Ekeh said rescue services had rushed to the scene.
The attack comes days before the capital is due to host the World Economic Forum on Africa, which will attract international leaders, policy makers and entrepreneurs from around the world.
There has been no immediate claim of responsibility, however it bears all the hallmarks of Boko Haram, an Islamist group seeking to carve out an Islamic state in Nigeria.
The group claimed responsibility for the attack which struck the same area on April 14. At least 75 people were killed and an estimated 141 were injured when a bomb was detonated at a Nyanya bus station during morning rush hour.
On the same day suspected Boko Haram militants kidnapped at least 230 girls from a high school in the northern Borno state. Around 50 of the girls managed to escape within hours of the abduction, but most are still missing.
Calls for action over missing girls
The kidnapping has shocked Nigerians and proved to be extremely damaging for the government which has been accused of mishandling its response. Relatives have staged protests calling for security forces to do more to find the girls, who it is feared have been trafficked across Nigeria’s borders and sold as brides.
The group, whose name means “Western education is sinful,” has been held reponsible for hundreds of attacks across the country during its five-year insurgency.
It has stepped up attacks in recent months, with more than 1,500 fatalities this year alone, compared to 3,600 between 2010 and 2013.
The upsurge in violence has discredited government claims that security forces have contained the insurgency to the northeastern corner of the country.
On Thursday President Goodluck Jonathan told a May Day rally in the capital that the government will “triumph over all this evil that wants to debase our humanity or obstruct our progress as a nation.”
“Those who want to redefine our country to be seen as a country of chaos will never succeed,” he said.
ccp/ng (AFP, Reuters, AP)