Over 20 killed in Nigerian World Cup screening blast

AP
Boko Haram, thought to be responsible for last night's suicicde bombing, want to establish strict Sharia law across Nigeria

A suicide bomber has killed at least 21 people and seriously injured dozens more during a televised screening of a World Cup match in Yobe, northern Nigera.

Locals were gathered to watch Brazil v Mexico at a public screening last night when the blast, apparently concealed in a rickshaw, went off. Though no group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, Islamist militants Boko Haram are thought to be behind it.

President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in Muslim-majority Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states in May 2013 and has authorised an increased military presence in an attempt to combat extremism. However Boko Haram – whose name translates as 'Western education is forbidden' – continues to wreak devastation across northern Nigeria. Members are thought to be responsible for at least 2,000 deaths so far this year alone, in addition to the kidnapping of over 200 school girls from Chibok, Borno state, on April 14.

The BBC reports a hospital worker in Yobe's capital city Damaturu, where last night's blast took place, as saying truckloads of people were being bought in for emergency treatment.

"All of them are young men or children," the worker said, adding that the injuries sustained by civilians in the attack were "horrific".

Despite being Nigeria's national sport, football has apparently been described as "un-Islamic" by extreme Muslim groups, which would explain the location of last night's bombing, and the government has thus called for public screenings to be cancelled in some north-eastern areas to avoid further attacks.

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