Friday, 17 June 2011

Boko Haram bombs Abuja police headquarters

The Islamist militant group Boko Haram have taken responsibility for bombing Nigerian police headquarters in Abuja on Thursday 16th June. Nigerian officials have said that the attack left at least two people dead, one of them reportedly a suicide bomber.

The bombing follows a visit by Nigeria's police Chief Hafeez Ringim to the north-eastern town of Maiduguri, where the group is based. Boko Haram is striving to overthrow the State and implement Islamic law across Nigeria. The group, responsible for killing dozens of police officers, politicians and critics, has recently reformed after the group's leader Mohammed Yusuf was killed in 2009.

Boko Haram has also taken responsibility for several explosions in Abuja, and other States, following President Goodluck Jonathan's inauguration last month. In a statement, about the latest attacks, the group said: “We are responsible for the bomb attack on the police headquarters in Abuja which was to prove a point to all those who doubt our capability.”

Ringim, who visited Maiduguri earlier this week, said that the Boko Haram problem would be solved within months. The group counteracted the statement with a car bomb outside the police headquarters, which exploded minutes after Ringim arrived for work.

A bus commuter who saw the explosion told the BBC's Focus on Africa programme: "All of a sudden there was this loud explosion. Everybody was scared and people began to run around."

Boko haram has killed dozens of people across the country but mainly in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state, where it is located.

Sources: BBC News, ABC Online, AFP, Reuters

For more news and expert analysis about Nigeria, please see Nigeria Focus and Nigeria Politics & Security.

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