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Blast Hits Nigeria Police Headquarters

Published on Thursday 16th June 2011

A powerful bomb has exploded outside Nigerian police headquarters in the capital, Abuja, killing at least one person.Officials with Nigeria's emergency management agency say they suspect a suicide bomber carried out the attack and died in the blast.In an interview with VOA, a spokesman for the Islamic militant group Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the bombing.Boko Haram has been blamed for a string of attacks in northeastern Nigeria that targeted police, government officials, and other authority figures.Thursday's bomb blast went off in a parking lot near police headquarters.  Nigerian television aired video showing thick black smoke and flames rising from damaged cars.Fire and rescue officials are at the scene and police have cordoned off all roads leading to the area.Reuters news agency quotes a Red Cross spokesman as saying the agency is carrying out bodies and treating casualties at the attack site.Nigeria experiences frequent bomb attacks, stemming from political and sectarian tensions.Last October, 12 people died in twin car bombings in Abuja on Nigeria's independence day.  Authorities blamed the attack on militants from the country's volatile Niger Delta region.Boko Haram is believed to carry out most of the attacks in Nigeria's northeast, especially in Borno state. The group is pushing to impose strict Islamic law across the north.  Boko Haram began an uprising against the government in July 2009, sparking a week of fighting in the north that killed some 700 people.
Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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