Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Nigeria: 4 could face death over UN HQ bombing

16 September 2011

Prosecutors on Friday accused four men of organizing a suicide bombing at United Nations headquarters in Nigeria that killed 23 people, bringing charges that carry the death penalty.

The four men charged came in a group of 19 brought before a magistrate court in Nigeria's capital Abuja, all accused of belonging to the radical Muslim sect that claimed responsibility for the attack that also wounded 116 others.

In charging documents, prosecutors said Abdusalami Adamu, Danzumi Haruna, Salisu Mohammed and Musa Mukailu of Kano ordered a suicide bomber driving a Honda sport utility vehicle to attack the world body's headquarters.

The men didn't make pleas as Magistrate Judge Azubuike Okegu said the case should be transferred to the Nigeria's Federal High Court system. He ordered the suspects held until a court appearance Nov. 3.

It was not immediately clear if the men had lawyers. Prosecutors also said 25 people died in the car bomb attack, up from an estimate of 23 offered by the U.N.

A radical Muslim sect known locally as Boko Haram, which means "Western education is sacrilege" in the local Hausa language, claimed responsibility for the attack. The sect has assassinated local officials and bombed locations around Nigeria in the last year as it continues its campaign for the strict implementation of Shariah law across the country.

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