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Deadly blasts rocks Nigerian bus stationPublish Date: Apr 14, 2014
Deadly blasts rocks Nigerian bus station
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Map locating an explosion at a crowded bus station in Nigeria on Monday. 90 x 82 mm (AFP Photo/)
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Twin blasts at a bus station packed with commuters outside Nigeria's capital killed and injured several people on Monday, officials said, as rescue workers scrambled to contain the chaos.

The cause of the explosions at the Nyanya Bus Park roughly five kilometres (three miles) 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.

"We have been able to bring some of the dead to the morgue and some injured have been taken to the hospital," said Charles Otegbade, head of search and rescue at the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

He said his team had not yet been able to provide precise figures on casualties.

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.

Burnt luxury buses at New Road bus station in Sabon Gari district in northern Nigerian's largest city of Kano on March 19, 2013 following a suicide bombing (AFP Photo/Aminu Abubakar)

NEMA spokesman Manzo Ezekiel told AFP that the Nyanya station was crowded with people on their way to work in Abuja when the explosions rang out and that witnesses reported hearing two separate blasts.

Security officials at the scene were working to determine the cause of the explosions.

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.

The Islamists rebels stormed a northeastern village on the border with Cameroon early Sunday, killing at least 60 people with heavy weapons and explosives, a local official said.

AFP

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