ABUJA: A bomb ripped through a military barracks in the Nigerian capital Abuja on New Year's Eve killing four people and wounding a dozen others, in the second such attack in three months, an official said.
“Sixteen victims were brought into the hospital. Four were brought in dead… 12 are quite in a stable condition,” the director of medical services with the Federal Capital Territory Administration, Udofia Enefiok, told reporters at a government hospital Friday.
The bomb went off early in the evening at a market inside Abacha barracks, a popular spot for food and drink in the Nigerian capital on New Year's Eve, the military and civil chiefs said.
“There was a bomb blast inside the Mammy market. The bomb exploded where people were eating and drinking,” civil defence corps chief for the capital Rabi Saidu said.
Nigeria's military chief Air Marshal Oluseyi Petirin said: “It's unfortunate that some people planted a bomb where people were relaxing.”
“It's the same type of incident we had in Jos,” said Petirin, referring to the multiple blasts in the central city of Jos that killed dozens on Christmas Eve.
An AFP correspondent saw a police truck, its back covered with a dark plastic sheet, driving out of the barracks, which has been cordoned off.
The attack was the second in the federal administrative capital in three months. Twin bomb attacks killed 12 people during Independence Day festivities on October 1.
President Goodluck Jonathan condemned the attack which came hours after Christians in Jos buried 16 of the dozens of victims of the Christmas Eve bombings claimed by a radical Islamist sect.
“Basking in their nefarious success in Jos on Christmas Eve, they have once again knifed at the heartstrings of a nation decked out in gaiety, celebrating New Year's Eve.
“This is extreme evil. It is wicked,” Jonathan's spokesman Ima Niboro said in a statement.
“The president… condemns this attack,” he added, describing it as a “new and dangerous challenge to our peace and stability”.
He said the attackers “must be made to pay. No one … can make this nation ungovernable”.
An Islamic sect, calling itself Jama'atu Ahlus-Sunnah Lidda'Awati Wal Jihad has claimed responsibility for the Christmas Eve attacks in Jos.
Boko Haram, which launched an uprising in Nigeria last year, has previously said it wanted to be known as a group that goes by that name.
Police in northern Nigeria on Thursday said they had arrested 92 suspected Boko Haram members, including a man in his 70s they believe is the main financier of the group's activities.
Eighty people died in the December 24 attacks in Jos which lies in the so-called middle-belt region between the predominantly Muslim north and the mainly Christian south. Jos, the capital of Plateau state has long been a hotspot for ethnic and religious friction.
Channel News Asia