BOMB attacks in ABUJA kill 9, several injured; disrupting message of the 50th Anniversary of Nigeria; security fears heighten….
October 01, 2010:
An explosion was timed to impact the ceremonies held today to mark the country’s 50th anniversary of independence. Some medical and security sources suggested the death toll might be as high as 13.
The blast came after the country’s main militant group, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), threatened to bomb the ceremony. The militant group sent a warning that there is “nothing worth celebrating after 50 years” –citing the environmental destruction of the Niger Delta. MEND argued in the pre-bomb e-mail that “The constitution before independence which offered resource control was mutilated by illegal military governments and this injustice is yet to be addressed….“Several explosive devices have been successfully planted in and around the venue by our operatives working inside the government security services. In evacuating the area, keep a safe distance from vehicles and trash bins” MEND said.
Broadcast television footage showed scenes of the event, which was being attended by the country’s president, Goodluck Jonathan, continuing. Jonathan is from the Bayelsa state, the core base of the MEND.
MEND has drastically cut Nigeria’s oil output through years of sabotage of oil facilities in the southern Niger Delta, saying it was fighting for a more equitable share of resources for indigenous people.
The threats and bombing in the Niger Delta areas of Nigeria remain domestic and international concerns.
USAfricaonline.com with additional wire reports.