Escalation: Boko Haram has ventured again out of the region it usually terrorizes to attack a target of supreme symbolic value, the headquarters for law enforcement, in the capital city for Nigeria’s non-Sharia government. “Abuja ‘bomber’ hits Nigeria police headquarters,” from BBC News, June 16:
An eyewitness to the blast told the BBC everybody was scared after the bomb exploded.
Bombs will do that. That was the subheading between the headline and the main article, which follows below.
Two people, including a bomber, have died in an explosion at Nigeria’s police headquarters in the capital, Abuja, the police say.
Police spokesman Olusola Amore said Islamist group Boko Haram was suspected of being behind the attack.
The blast in the car park of the police base destroyed many vehicles and a large plume of smoke could be seen rising from the scene.
A Red Cross spokesman told the BBC that another four bodies had been recovered.
“Six to be precise. Six bodies from the explosion,” Nigerian Red Cross official Taiye Olaniyi told the BBC’s Focus on Africa programme, adding that many of them had been “very badly mutilated”
Seven other people were wounded in the explosion, five of whom were being treated in hospital, the Red Cross said.
The BBC’s Jonah Fisher in Lagos says that, for the Nigerian authorities, the attack is an embarrassing strike at the very heart of their security establishment.
In the last few weeks, Boko Haram, which usually operates in the north-eastern city of Maiduguri, has been stepping up its attacks on security targets.
Boko Haram’s attacks have focused on un-Islamic practices — drinking, charging interest, belonging to non-Islamic religions — or symbols and representatives of Nigeria’s government and law enforcement.
The group said it was behind a series of bombings in the capital that took place hours after President Goodluck Jonathan’s inauguration last month.
On Tuesday, Nigeria’s police chief promised to decisively deal with the group by sending more troops and equipment to the north, declaring they would be finished within a few months….
And Boko Haram promised to wage an intensified jihad against the infidels who had the unmitigated gall to fight back.