At least 21 killed in rush-hour blast in Nigerian capital

Updated: 2014-06-26 09:16


Daily attacks

Nigeria has been racked by almost daily bomb and gun attacks, widely suspected to be the work of Boko Haram, a group that has killed thousands since 2009 in its drive to carve out an Islamist state in the north.

At least 21 killed in rush-hour blast in Nigerian capital

Burnt-out cars are seen at the scene of a blast in Abuja, June 25, 2014. At least 21 people were killed when a suspected bomb tore through a crowded shopping district in the Nigerian capital Abuja during rush hour on Wednesday, police said, adding to the toll of thousands killed in attacks this year. It was not immediately clear who was responsible for the blast and no one claimed responsibility. However, militant Islamist group Boko Haram has increasingly targeted civilians in its bloody five-year insurgency. [Photo/Agencies]

A separate blast rocked an area in the northeastern Adamawa state on Wednesday, but no one was injured, local police spokesman Othman Abubakar said.

Abuja has been a target for bombs. A suspected car bomb in May killed at least 15 and an attack on a bus station a month earlier at least 75.

Boko Haram, whose name roughly translates as "Western education is sinful", initially attacked government and security targets, as well as churches and Muslim leaders who rejected its brand of Islam.

Recently it has begun targeting ordinary civilians more, apparently emboldened by the global publicity that followed its kidnapping of more than 200 girls from a school in the remote Borno village of Chibok in April.

Nigerian media reported this week that northeast Borno state had been hit by another mass abduction over the weekend. However, the government said on Wednesday it had found no proof of a fresh large-scale kidnapping.

"Based on available facts before us there was no abduction of 60 persons in Borno state," the National Information Centre said in a statement.

Security forces launched an investigation after the reports that as many as 91 people had been kidnapped over the weekend when gunmen raided villages in Borno.