On Tuesday night, violence struck again in the Nigerian city of Damaturu, when a suicide bomber detonated a tricycle taxi packed with explosives at an outdoor World Cup viewing center. Reports have said at least 21 people have been killed, but the death toll is likely to rise. Currently the main hospital at Damaturu, capital of Yobe state, is receiving more people in critical condition.
No one has claimed responsibility for the explosion in northern Nigeria, but due to Nigeria’s recent situation, its suspected that the Islamic extremists group Boko Haram is responsible for the explosion. Due to the fact that Boko Haram consistently times secondary explosions with their bombs, Police Assistant Superintendent Nathan Chegan, who confirmed the explosion, told workers to be cautious for a secondary explosion.
Boko Haram was also blamed for an explosion on another venue screening soccer matches in the northeastern state of Adamawa that ended up killing 14 people and wounded 12 others. Due to these attacks, the Nigerian government has advised people to avoid gathering in public places to watch the World Cup. The problem is many people in Nigeria rely on public places with televisions to watch the World Cup.
Lynda, a student and soccer fan, shows how dedicated she is to watching the game by saying:
” During the Champions League final between Atletico and Real Madrid, I was in a viewing centre when I heard one was bombed in Jos. I was scared but I had to finish watching the match before I go home. As much as they are bombing, we just hope that it does not get us, but it is not enough to make people stop going to centres.”
Boko Haram has waged war on all of Nigeria and relentlessly persecuted the country for some time now.The most atrocious act the extremist group committed prior to the bombings was the kidnapping of 250 school girls. Boko Haram’s leader Abubakar Shekau has threatened to sell the girls into slavery unless the government agrees to exchange them for detained extremists, but President Goodluck Jonathan refused to negotiate.
Nigeria’s military claims to know where the girls are being kept, but refuses to send in the military due to the high risk of the kidnapped girls being killed.
Nigeria has said they have increased the military’s presence in the troubled regions, but there continues to be many reported attacks on villages. Whether or not Boko Haram is responsible for yesterday’s explosions in Nigeria, it is clear the religious violence is out of control and needs to end.
[ Image Via voanews.com ]