BEIRUT

World

Boko Haram leader claims Nigeria capital bombing

A screengrab taken on April 19, 2014, from a video obtained by AFP shows a man claiming to be the leader of Nigerian Islamist extremist group Boko Haram Abubakar Shekau. The leader of Nigeria's Boko Haram Islamists Abubakar Shekau claimed responsibility for a bombing in Nigeria's capital that killed at least 75 people, in a video message obtained by AFP on April 19. AFP PHOTO / BOKO HARAM

KANO, Nigeria: The leader of Nigeria's Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, claimed responsibility for a bombing in Nigeria's capital that killed at least 75 people, in a video message obtained by AFP Saturday.

"We are the ones that carried out the attack in Abuja," Shekau said in the 28-minute video, referring to the deadliest attack ever in Nigeria's capital, which targeted a bus station packed with morning commuters.

Seated with a kalashnikov resting on his left shoulder and dressed in military uniform, the insurgent commander spoke in both Arabic and the Hausa language that is dominant in northern Nigeria.

The message was delivered to AFP in a manner consistent with previous videos from Boko Haram.

The bombing at the Nyanya bus terminal on the outskirts of Abuja was the first major attack in the capital in two years.

Most of the insurgents' violence in recent months had been concentrated in the group's remote northeastern stronghold, where the military is waging an 11-month-old offensive.

The attack in Abuja underscored the serious threat the Islamists pose to Africa's most populous country and top economy.

Shekau indicated that Boko Haram has fighters based in the capital.

"We are in your city," he said, addressing Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan.

Shekau has been declared a global terrorist by the United States, which has put a $7 million bounty on his head.

Hours after the Abuja bombing, gunmen stormed a girls' school in the northeast and kidnapped 129 students, an attack also blamed on Boko Haram that has sparked global outrage.

Forty-four of the girls have escaped so far, according to officials, and the military has said it has launched a major search and rescue operation.

 

Recommended

Advertisement

Comments

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

comments powered by Disqus

Advertisement

FOLLOW THIS ARTICLE

Interested in knowing more about this story?

Click here