Blast outside Nigerian nightclub after security chiefs fired

A blast went off outside a nightclub in the Nigerian capital Abuja hours after the national security adviser and defence minister were sacked amid fears of spiralling violence in the country's north.

No casualties were reported in the explosion late Friday. Windows in the nightclub, a bank and a barber shop were shattered and a number of luxury cars were damaged.

"No human casualty," Yushau Shuaib, spokesman for the National Emergency Management Agency, said. "The explosives were suspected to have been planted on a tree opposite Kryxtal Lounge."

The popular nightclub is located in a district frequented by foreigners and the wealthy.

Shuaib said he did not believe there were many people there, though a security guard nearby said a crowd had been at the nightclub at the time of the blast, which caused people to flee in panic.

Nigeria has been hit by scores of bombings blamed on Islamist group Boko Haram, including some in and around Abuja.

A suicide bomb attack on UN headquarters in Abuja in August killed at least 25 people, while another at the Abuja office of one of the country's most prominent newspapers left four dead.

Prominent areas of the capital, including major hotels, have long been under tight security over fears of more violence.

Nigeria has been grappling with Boko Haram's insurgency for months, but criticism of President Goodluck Jonathan intensified this week after three suicide bombings at churches sparked reprisals from Christians who burnt mosques and killed dozens of Muslims.

There have been growing warnings that there could be more cases of residents taking the law into their own hands if something is not done to halt the Boko Haram attacks.

Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation and largest oil producer, is roughly divided between a mainly Muslim north and predominantly Christian south.

Jonathan met with his security team on Friday after he returned from a UN environmental summit in Brazil. His decision to leave Nigeria on Tuesday for the summit as fresh riots broke out had also drawn heavy criticism.

After the meeting, Jonathan's spokesman announced the national security adviser and defence minister had been fired.

The new security adviser is to be Sambo Dasuki, a retired colonel, prominent northerner and cousin to the Sultan of Sokoto, Nigeria's highest Muslim spiritual figure.

He is also a former aide to ex-military ruler Ibrahim Babangida, an influential northerner who challenged Jonathan for the ruling party nomination ahead of 2011 presidential elections before eventually dropping out of the race.

It was not yet clear who would replace defence minister Bello Mohammed, who was widely viewed as ineffective.

The fired national security adviser, Owoye Azazi, is a political ally of Jonathan's, with both men from Bayelsa state in the oil-producing south.

Azazi faced suspicion in the north, particularly after comments he made in April which many took as indicating that the violence was politically linked.

Several days of unrest in parts of northern Nigeria have left at least 106 people dead.

The violence started Sunday in Kaduna state, with suicide attacks at three churches which killed at least 16 people and triggered reprisals from Christian mobs.

More rioting broke out in Kaduna later in the week, while on Monday and Tuesday, shootouts between security forces and suspected Islamists in the northeastern city of Damaturu left at least 40 people dead.

The initial suicide bombings were claimed by Boko Haram, whose insurgency concentrated in the north has killed hundreds.

Criticism has mounted over the government's response to the violence, with few public indications of what strategies are being employed beyond heavy-handed military raids to stop the onslaught of attacks.

Boko Haram initially said it was fighting for the creation of an Islamic state, but its demands have since repeatedly shifted. It is believed to have a number of factions, including a main Islamist wing.

Many say deep poverty and frustration in the north have been main factors in creating the insurgency.

The United States on Thursday said it had designated the head of the main branch of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, a "global terrorist" along with two others tied to both Boko Haram and Al-Qaeda's north African branch.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • N. Korea fires missiles in anger at South-US military drills
    N. Korea fires missiles in anger at South-US military drills

    North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea and vowed "merciless" retaliation Monday as the US and South Korea kicked off joint military drills denounced by Pyongyang as recklessly confrontational. The annual exercises always trigger a surge in military tensions and warlike rhetoric on the divided peninsula, and analysts saw the North's missile tests as a prelude to a concerted campaign of sabre-rattling. "If there is a particularly sharp escalation, we could see the …

  • Couple married 67 years holds hands in final hours together
    Couple married 67 years holds hands in final hours together

    FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — After spending 67 years together as devoted husband and wife, there was no question how Floyd and Violet Hartwig would end their lives — together. …

  • Hijacked Indonesian vessel found in Davao
    Hijacked Indonesian vessel found in Davao

    An Indonesian cargo vessel that was hijacked a month ago in North Sulawesi, Indonesia has been found stuck in the waters off Mati, Davao Oriental, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) reported yesterday. PCG spokesperson Armand Balilo said the PCG- Southeastern Mindanao district was informed on Feb. 23 that the M/T Rehoboth was found aground off Barangay Cabuaya. Four personnel from the local PCG district office were sent to verify the report. The vessel was reportedly hijacked by …

  • Militants want US Marines pulled out of Negros
    Militants want US Marines pulled out of Negros

    The militant group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) is calling for the pullout of US Marines who arrived in Sagay City, Negros Occidental last Wednesday to train Special Action Force (SAF) commandos and members of the allied forces. The SAF commandos and the allied forces will secure the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ministerial meeting in this city. Bayan-Negros secretary general Christian Tuayon said the US troops might violate the human rights of activists, especially those …

  • Military steps up offensive vs BIFF, Abu Sayyaf
    Military steps up offensive vs BIFF, Abu Sayyaf

    Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr. has ordered the sustained campaign against the Abu Sayyaf and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) following the successive offensives against the armed groups last week. A total of 24 Abu Sayyaf bandits and two soldiers were killed in recent clashes in Sulu last week. The Joint Task Group Sulu has received information that Abu Sayyaf leader Radulan Sahiron was wounded during one of the encounters but this is …

  • 'Jihadi John' relatives under watch in Kuwait
    'Jihadi John' relatives under watch in Kuwait

    Kuwaiti authorities are closely monitoring several relatives of "Jihadi John" who live and work in the Gulf emirate where the Islamic State executioner was born, press reports said on Sunday. A number of relatives of Mohammed Emwazi, named as the militant who has beheaded at least five Western hostages, are working in Kuwait and like him hold British citizenship, Al-Qabas newspaper reported. "Security agencies have taken the necessary measures to monitor them round the clock," the paper said, …

  • Binay backs house arrest for JPE, GMA
    Binay backs house arrest for JPE, GMA

    Vice President Jejomar Binay yesterday supported proposals to put Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile and former President now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal- Arroyo under house arrest. “Government prosecutors are opposing house arrest for… Enrile. Binay issued the statement after the 91-year-old Enrile was rushed to the Makati Medical Center on Thursday due to pneumonia. House arrest for him would be the compassionate thing to do,” he added. …

  • China subs outnumber US fleet – admiral
    China subs outnumber US fleet – admiral

    China is building some “fairly amazing submarines” and now has more diesel- and nuclear-powered vessels than the United States, a top US Navy admiral told US lawmakers on Wednesday, although he said their quality was inferior. Vice Admiral Joseph Mulloy, deputy chief of naval operations for capabilities and resources, told the House Armed Services Committee’s seapower subcommittee that China was also expanding the geographic areas of operation for its submarines, and their length of …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options