Saturday, August 27, 2011

Nigeria president avoids naming suspects at bomb site

27 August 2011

* Death toll after bombing rises to 19
* Islamic sect behind similar attacks
* U.N. deputy secretary general on her way to Abuja

By Felix Onuah and Camillus Eboh | Reuters –  2 hrs 50 mins ago

ABUJA (Reuters) - Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan visited on Saturday the site of a bomb attack at the U.N. building in Abuja, refusing to be drawn on who was to blame but recognizing the threat posed by a radical Islamist sect.
Authorities put the death toll at 19 in Friday's attack, when a car slammed through security gates of the United Nations offices in the capital, crashed into the basement and exploded, sending vehicles flying and setting the building on fire.

"I and all Nigerians are shocked," Jonathan told reporters and emergency workers at the charred U.N. building. "We will work with the U.N. and other world leaders to ensure that terrorism is brought under control."
So far there has been no confirmed claim of responsibility for the attack in which the car's driver was killed, possibly making the incident Nigeria's first suicide bombing.

However, analysts, security forces and diplomats said the attack had all the hallmarks of Boko Haram, a radical Nigerian Islamist group whose name roughly translates as "Western education is forbidden."

Asked by a reporter whether he thought Boko Haram was responsible, Jonathan gave no direct answer but acknowledged that the sect posed a serious threat. "Boko Haram as a local group is linked with terrorist activities and as a government we are working to bring it under control," he said.

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