Niger Delta rebels kill 10 in Abuja bomb


The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (Mend) has claimed responsibility for blasts in the Nigerian capital Abuja on Friday. At least 10 people died and several were injured in the bombs, which coincided with the country's celebration of 50 years of independence.


The explosions occurred moments after Mend warned of attacks and urged people to evacuate the area. They hit near Abuja's Eagle Square. Dozens of people were injured.

Two of the 22 victims brought to hospital died while being treated. A third person was brought in dead later in the afternoon and it was unclear whether that victim was included in the earlier police toll of eight.

Jimoh Moshood, senior superintendant of police, Abuja

Firefighters, police and bomb disposal experts were at the scene when the blasts went off. Police senior superintendant Jimoh Moshood told RFI the death toll is likely to rise.

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan was nearby at the 50th anniversary celebrations. The military parade continued after the blast.

"The bomb explosions are a low, dirty and wicked act of desperation by criminals and murderers who do not wish Nigeria well," said Jonathan. "These bomb attacks are the worst anniversary gifts any nation can get."

Mend has staged scores of attacks in the Niger Delta in recent years, claiming to be fighting for a fairer distribution of oil revenue. The Niger Delta is one of the richest sources of oil in Africa, but people in the area still live in poverty.

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