Dozens are feared dead in an apparent bombing at a shopping center in the Nigerian capital, Abuja. There was no immediate claim of responsibility, although Boko Haram militants are suspected of carrying out the attack.
The huge explosion tore through the shopping center just before 4 p.m. local time (1500 GMT) at the Emab Plaza, not far from the country’s center of government.
Smoke billowed from the sky in the aftermath of the explosion, which was triggered in crowded area.
“This thing, it happened at peak time,” a source told the Reuters news agency.
“I heard a loud blast, it shattered the windows of the shop. We ran out. A lot of people ran too, some with blood stains,” one witness told the agency.
While there was police confirmation that at least 21 people had died in the explosion, quoting officials Nigeria’s Premium Times reported that at least 30 were dead, with more fatalities likely. Police said 17 people had been injured.
Although it remained unclear who had caused the explosion, the Islamist group Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for similar attacks in the past.
The militants usually operate in the north of the country, but have spread their attacks towards the capital, with some 120 people killed in a twin bombing at a bus station in April.
rc/mkg (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)