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18 Jun 2014 09:18
Recent blasts targeting fans in north-eastern Adamawa and the central state of Plateau have seen the authorities close big screen venues on security grounds. (Reuters)
At least 21 people were killed when an
explosion ripped through a viewing centre showing World Cup soccer in
Damaturu, north Nigeria, a medical source said on Wednesday.
“We received 21 dead bodies and 27 injured victims from the
blast,” the source at the Sani Abacha Specialist Hospital after the
explosion in the Nayi-Nama area of the city on Tuesday night.
Local residents said the bomb appeared to have been hidden in a
motorised rickshaw outside the venue, where crowds had gathered to watch
tournament hosts Brazil play Mexico on large screens.
The blast was the latest in a series at soccer viewing centres
in Nigeria blamed on Boko Haram militants, who have been waging a deadly
insurgency in the country’s north since 2009.
Closing of screening venuesSoccer is Nigeria’s national sport and has a fanatical following
but recent blasts targeting fans in north-eastern Adamawa and the central state
of Plateau have seen the authorities close big screen venues on security
The World Cup would normally have seen large crowds congregate to
watch the matches, including those of Nigeria’s national team, the “Super
Eagles”, but many fans have opted to stay at home for their own safety.
Adamawa and Yobe, of which Damaturu is the capital, have both been
under a state of emergency since May last year to try to curb the violence, so
far with little success. Borno, which sandwiches the two states, is also under
The hospital source, speaking on condition of anonymity because he
was not authorised to speak to the media, said soldiers and police brought in
the dead and injured from the scene of the blast, which was quickly cordoned
Victims“The bodies are being kept in the morgue while the injured
are receiving treatment at the accident and emergency unit before they are
moved to the ward,” the source said. “The victims are young men and children.
They have burns, ruptured
tissue and bone fractures.”
There was no immediate comment from the Yobe state police or
emergency relief agencies when contacted by Agence France-Presse.
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