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18 killed in SUICIDE BOMBING of U.N. compound in Nigeria – latimes.com

August 26, 2011

A police officer walks through the wreckage caused by a powerful bomb blast at the United Nations building in Abuja, Nigeria, on Friday. At least 16 people were killed. (Tony Nwosu / European Pressphoto Agency / August 26, 2011)

18 killed in suicide bombing of U.N. compound in Nigeria

The bomber drove his car into the U.N. headquarters in the Nigerian capital on Friday. An Islamist extremist group called Boko Haram claims responsibility for the attack on a compound that houses people working for U.N. humanitarian and development agencies.

By Robyn Dixon, Los Angeles Times

August 26, 2011, 10:03 a.m.

Reporting from Johannesburg, South Africa— At least 18 people died when a suicide bomber rammed his car through the two front gates of the U.N. headquarters in the Nigerian capital of Abuja on Friday, raising fears that a terrorist group in the country is widening its attacks.

An Islamist extremist group, Boko Haram, which has carried out many bombings in the past, told the BBC in a phone call that it had carried out the attack.

The blast at about 11 a.m. left a gaping hole in the compound, which houses about 400 people working for 26 U.N. humanitarian and development agencies. It’s not clear how many were present, but dozens were injured.

This marks the first attack on the U.N. by militants in Nigeria.

Past attacks by Boko Haram, a group that models itself on the Afghan Taliban, have been launched on national government targets, mainly in the north. The largest previous bombing, of the police headquarters in Abuja in June, killed six.

via 18 killed in suicide bombing of U.N. compound in Nigeria – latimes.com.

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