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PHOTOS: 21 killed in Nigerian mall explosion

June 26, 2014 08:55 IST

PHOTOS: 21 killed in Nigerian mall explosion

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An explosion erupted through a Nigerian shopping mall, killing at least 21 people just an hour before the national football team played Argentina in the World Cup.

Witnesses said the blast left body parts scattered around the EmabPlaza in an upmarket district of Abuja, as billows of black smoke could be seen from a mile away.

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Image: Authorities stand at the site where the explosion took place, which killed 21 people.
Photographs: Afolabi Sotunde/Reuters

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PHOTOS: 21 killed in Nigerian mall explosion

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It turned what should have been a national celebration into a national tragedy as Nigeria secured its place in the World Cup's knockout stages for the first time since 1998.

No one has yet claimed responsibility, but the attack bears hallmarks of Boko Haram extremism.

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Image: Authorities begin their investigation into the attack.
Photographs: Afolabi Sotunde/Reuters

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PHOTOS: 21 killed in Nigerian mall explosion

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Officials said the explosion hit while the district was at its busiest, packed with shoppers and rush-hour commuters.

"I heard a loud blast, it shattered the windows of the shop. We ran out. A lot of people ran too, some with bloodstains," said Gimbya Jafaru, who was shopping nearby. 

Police Superintendent Frank Mba said 17 people were wounded and 21 bodies were recovered. He also said one suspect has been arrested and investigations have already started. Another suspect was killed by soldiers as he tried to escape on a motorcycle, the spokesman for Nigeria's National Information Centre said.

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Image: Cars and other items in the mall were burnt and damaged while the injured were rushed to the hospital.
Photographs: Afolabi Sotunde/Reuters

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The blast is the latest in a series of violent attacks blamed on the Islamic extremists Boko Haram, who have a stronghold in the northeast of the country.

The bomb would be Abuja's third in three months and comes as the Nigerian government and military face rising public anger over their inability to protect citizens from daily gun and bomb attacks across Africa's most populous country.

Witnesses said the blast shattered windows, sent smoke billowing into the air and carved out a large crater.

 


Image: The injured were rushed to hospital for treatment as they sustained severe injuries owing to the explosion
Photographs: Afolabi Sotunde/Reuters

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