Maintenance. We are currently updating the site. Please check back shortly
Members login
  • TrustLaw
  • Members Portal
Subscribe Donate

Explosion hits World Cup viewing area in northeast Nigeria

Source: Reuters - Tue, 17 Jun 2014 22:26 GMT
Author: Reuters
Tweet Recommend Google + LinkedIn Email Print
Leave us a comment

(Recasts; adds quote from hospital source)

By Joe Hemba

DAMATURU, Nigeria, June 17 (Reuters) - An explosion tore through a venue in the northeast Nigerian town of Damaturu where fans had gathered to watch a World Cup soccer match on Tuesday, a police official said, declining to give further details.

Several pickup trucks carrying bodies arrived at the nearby General Sani Abacha Specialist Hospital, a hospital source said, adding: "There are also many casualties in the emergency room."

It was not immediately clear if anyone had been killed, or how many people had been injured. A Reuters witness near the scene heard a loud boom, and some residents said they also heard a second explosion.

Police Commissioner Marcus Danladi confirmed the explosion, adding that police were still trying to gather information.

Damaturu is the capital of Yobe state, an area that has been devastated by attacks from militant Islamist group Boko Haram, which in April abducted more than 200 girls from a school in neighbouring Borno state.

The Nigerian government has advised residents to avoid gathering in public to watch the World Cup, concerned about possible attacks.

Earlier this month, a bomb blast targeting another informal venue in northeast Nigeria where soccer fans had gathered killed at least 14 people and wounded 12.

Such assaults on the often-ramshackle television viewing centres have raised fears militant groups will target supporters gathering to cheer on the global soccer contests.

Many fans in soccer-mad Africa rely on informal venues - often open-sided structures with televisions set up in shops and side streets - to watch live coverage of the sport.

Boko Haram - whose name roughly translates as "Western education is sinful" - has declared war on all signs of what it sees as corrupting Western influence.

The group has killed thousands since 2009 in its push to carve out an Islamic state in Nigeria's restive north. (Writing by David Dolan; Editing by Robin Pomeroy and Jonathan Oatis)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of the Thomson Reuters Foundation. For more information see our Acceptable Use Policy.

comments powered by Disqus
Most Popular
LATEST SLIDESHOW

Latest slideshow

See allSee all
FEATURED JOBS
Featured jobs