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August 26, 2011

Deadly bomb blast rocks Nigeria UN building (Photos).


ABUJA (AFP) - A bomb rocked the UN building in the Nigerian capital Abuja on Friday, killing a number of people, leaving others trapped and causing heavy damage, officials and witnesses said.

Some witnesses reported that the bomb occurred after a suspect rammed a car through the front gate.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but an Islamist sect known as Boko Haram has been blamed for scores of bombings in recent months.

"A number of dead people and injured have been moved in ambulances to the hospital," police spokesman Yemi Ajayi said. "We don't have the exact figures yet and we don't want to guess."
A member of security personnel speaking on condition of anonymity spoke of "many dead."

"It looks like a suicide bombing," the source said at the scene. "A guy drove a Honda car, forced his way through the gate and rammed into the building, and then the bomb exploded."
One UN staff member said people were still trapped in the building that sustained heavy damage.

"I don't know what is going on. Many people are still trapped upstairs and we need a crane to bring people down," said the UN employee who did not want to give her name.

Police said there was an explosion and UN officials said it was caused by a bomb.
"We spoke to our colleagues in Lagos, who confirmed that the explosion was caused by a bomb. But we have no further information for now," a UN spokeswoman in Geneva told AFP.

A spokeswoman for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs meanwhile told AFP that a colleague on site had sent an SMS message to say that the explosion "appears to have come from the gate entrance to the building."

The UN building is located in Abuja's diplomatic zone, not far from the US Embassy.
A bomb blast that rocked national police headquarters in Abuja in June was claimed by Boko Haram.

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