A strong explosion in a shopping mall in Abuja, capital of Nigeria, has killed at least 21 people, as reported by the police, cited by AFP, and wounding 17. The origin of the explosion is unknown stresses Reuters, though government spokesman Mike Omeri quoted by France Presse, confirms that the outbreak is the result of a “bomb”. The Nigerian capital already this year target of attacks by the terrorist Boko Haram. Last April, an attack on a station outside killed more than 70 people.
The explosion rocked the Banex Plaza shopping complex, one of the largest and most luxurious malls in the city, in the Wuse district. According to the testimonies of some of those present in the area, the blast has busted the windows of downtown. “You can see the plume spreading across the sky,” Manzo Ezekiel, a spokesman for the National Emergency Management Agency, told France Presse . “It is a very populated area.”
Nigeria is fighting a tough battle against the militant Boko Haram, with particular strength in the Northeast and camp in the border region between Nigeria, Niger and Cameroon. On 14 April, Boko Haram kidnapped in a school Chibok in Borno State, over 200 girls. Most of them are still in their possession.
Nigerian local media reported on Tuesday that 60 other women had been abducted in Kummabza, also Borno State, in an attack by the fundamentalist militia that left nearly 40 dead. The Government, in open dispute with some media has denied the information.
At the April attack on a bus station in Abuja was followed by another a month later in the outskirts of the Nigerian capital, leaving 19 dead. Attacks by Boko Haram are reaching virulently during the World Cup in Brazil, in which the Nigerian team is playing and brings together thousands of people in the streets to watch the matches.
The president of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, has recently acknowledged that Boko Haram’s offense is a greater threat than the country suffered in the civil war in the late 60s. More than 1,500 people have been killed in the northeast in the early three months of this year, according to Amnesty International. The violence of Boko Haram, which seeks the rule of Islamic law in the northeast of the country, has led the government to maintain the state of emergency in the states of Borno, Yobe and Adawama since May 2013. Militia intensified its terrorist campaign in 2009, when police killed the founder of the group, Mohammed Yusuf.