Explosion hits UN building in Nigeria

A large explosion struck a United Nations building in Nigeria’s capital of Abuja on Friday. At least 18 people have been found dead and one complete wing of the building was levelled by the blast, witnesses said.

Alessandra Vellucci, a spokesperson for the UN office in Geneva, said the global body’s offices in Abuja had been bombed.

“So far, we have 18 dead and eight injured,” Mike Zuokumor, police commissioner for the Federal Capital Territory, which includes Abuja, told journalists.

“It was a Honda Accord car. The suicide bomber died immediately as the bomb cut him into three. I cannot say how many people are still in the building. The rescue operation is still on.”

Witnesses said that the blast happened just before 11am in the same neighbourhood as the US embassy and other diplomatic posts in Nigeria’s capital.

Police and the wounded thronged the three-storey building as people began to search for victims.

Local police spokesperson Jimoh Moshood confirmed the blast, but said police were still investigating the cause. — AP, Reuters

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