Monday, 30 April 2012

Nigeria: Boko Haram bombs This Day offices in Abuja, Kaduna

Armed Islamist militant group Boko Haram struck again late morning on 26 April, detonating explosives at the offices of This Day newspaper in Abuja and Kaduna, killing at least six people. A smaller explosion occurred in Kaduna later that afternoon at the junction of a major highway.

A source in contact with the group claims that This Day was targeted because it was considered a mouthpiece of the government. The editor, Ndukka Ogbaigbena, is known to be close to President Goodluck Jonathan and former president Olusegun Obasanjo.

This Day is a controversial voice in the predominantly Muslim North. An article proposing that the Prophet Mohammed might wish to have married a beauty queen prompted serious sectarian violence in Kaduna at the time of the Miss World contest held in Nigeria in 2002. Moreover, journalists have been among Boko Haram's victims. In October 2011, the group killed a reporter for state-run television, accusing him of being an informant. In January this year, a correspondent for Channels TV was gunned down and killed when reporting on Boko Haram bombings in Kano.

According to media reports, witnesses claim that at least one of the attacks (in Abuja) was carried out by a suicide bomber. This was confirmed in a statement from the State Security Service. However, a spokesperson for the National Emergency Management Agency earlier stated that the explosion appeared to have occurred within the building. A man suspected of involvement in the main Kaduna blast has reportedly been arrested.

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

© 2012 Menas Associates

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