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At least 20 dead in bus station explosion in Nigeria

NIGERIA VIOLENCE | 19 de marzo de 2013

At least 20 dead in bus station explosion in Nigeria

Local residents approach the remains of a burned bus after a bomb explosion in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. EFE/File

Lagos, Mar 18 (EFE).- At least 20 people died Monday in a large explosion at a bus station in the southern Nigerian city of Kano, eyewitnesses told Efe by telephone.

The witnesses said they had seen about 20 bodies at the site of the blast.

Meanwhile, the local Daily Post, citing Kano residents as its sources, said that "more than 20" people died in the blast and dozens were wounded to varying degrees.

Evidently, a bomb was detonated at the New Road Motor Park about 6 p.m. local time, personnel with the Joint Task Force of the Nigerian army told the Daily Post.

The bus station is in the Sabon Gari neighborhood, the population of which is predominantly Christian.

In a communique, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan condemned the attack, warned that the government will continue its "implacable war against terrorism in the country" and offered his support to the victims.

At present, it is not known who planted the bomb, although Kano is a region largely under the control of the radical Islamic Boko Haram sect, which has been responsible for numerous attacks in northern Nigeria since 2009.

Boko Haram, in the local language, means "non-Islamic education is a sin," and its members are allegedly fighting to impose Islamic law throughout the country, which is mainly Muslim in the north and mainly Christian in the south.

Since 2009, the Islamic radicals have been waging a bloody campaign that has taken some 1,400 lives, according to Human Rights Watch although the Nigerian army says that more than 3,000 people have been killed.

With some 170 million citizens divided into more than 200 tribal groups, Nigeria - Africa's most populous country - is experiencing multiple tensions due to its deep political, economic, religious and territorial differences.

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