7 Dead in Nigeria Explosions

Posted April 26th, 2012 at 3:05 pm (UTC-5)
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Officials say the bombing of a newspaper office in Nigeria's capital has killed three people, while another blast near the same publication's office in the northern city of Kaduna has killed four others.

Officials say the first explosion Thursday went off at the Abuja office of This Day, one of Nigeria's most prominent national papers. The chairman of the paper's editorial board, Olusegun Adeniya, said a suicide bomber rammed a jeep into the gate of the building, killing two security guards and the bomber.

A VOA reporter at the scene says crowds of angry people gathered after the attack, screamingthat “there is no security in Nigeria.”

Meanwhile, a VOA reporter in Kaduna says police have a man in custody after a bomb exploded outside of a compound that houses This Day and two other papers — The Moment and The Sun. Officials say that blast left at least four people dead and several others injured.

Kaduna resident Diji Obadiah says the bomber rammed his vehicle into the newspaper compound while shouting “God is great” in Arabic.

“When people saw, they thought he just mistakenly hit the building. They pull(ed) him out and then he was telling them, 'There is a bomb, there is a bomb.'”

Obadiah said people wanted to “lynch” the bomber when he pulled a bomb out of his car, so he threw the explosive device at the crowd.

Later in the day, another bomb blast in Kaduna injured several people. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for any of the explosions.

The United States condemned the attacks. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Washington is willing to cooperate with Nigeria in the investigation.

“This is an attack not only on innocent people but on free speech itself in Nigeria, and we call for a full investigation on holding those responsible to account.”

She said there was no information linking the Islamist group Boko Haram to the attacks.

For two years, authorities have struggled to stop a wave of bombings and shootings in the north, most of them blamed on the radical Islamic sect.