Following last night's explosion, security forces fret at growing terror in Abuja

About two kilometers from the site where an explosion was reported a forthnight ago, on the commercial end of Aminu Kano Crescent in the high brow Wuse 2 neighbourhood of the FCT in Abuja, another night explosion, believed to be a low grade bomb, went off Tuesday at about 9.30 P.M

Apparently deployed to avoid dramatic fatalities, but to attract significant publicity impact, the explosion went off when most of the commercial offices and shopping points had closed for the day in the presinct of the usually crowded Banex Plaza.  

Security experts say they are puzzled at what appears to be a “growing string of Wuse explosions” but discount a Boko Haram signature at this point. Boko Haram, the violent religious group prosecuting a terror campaign mostly in the northern part of the country had operated, when they did, in styles that sought to extract maximum fatality and property damage.

“The problem is where this will lead, we worry because the logic behind these explosions suggest a manifesto is in the making. Look at all the same tell-tale signs,” said a counter-terror expert in Abuja who did not want to be identified for this report.

Police account, from a statement issued by Force spokesman, Felix Mba, said “The incident had a zero casualty record- no life lost, no person injured and no car damaged or burnt,” however a private security guard was reportedly treated of glass cuts from some of the flying debris triggered by the explosion.

NEMA spokesman, Yushau Shuaib, away in Japan, confirmed police accounts on human casualties, but officials from his agency told PREMIUM TIMES they were worried of the possibility of secondary explosives buried away from easy sight in the area that the absence of effective lightinghindered them from doing any descent investigations. “It is just too dark for any further investigation tonight” a NEMA official who declined to offer his name said of the incident stressing fears there might be secondary bombs planted around the scene.

The police spokesman however said Adenrele Shinaba, the commissioner of police, Federal Capital Territory Command, led the police anti-bomb squad on site to defuse what remained of residual bombs, adding “Detectives from the Bomb Disposal Unit, assisted by their counterparts from FCT CID have commenced investigation.”

No group has so far claimed responsibility for this incident, as was the case with the earlier one that drew varied explanations and accounts from the different security agencies, evidence of some coordination deficit in the system.

Mr. Mba blamed those he characterized as “mischief makers” for the incident, and advised that “in their own interest…to keep off the city or have themselves to blame as the long arm of the law will soon catch up with them.”

Multiple teams of State Security Service, Police, National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, were active at the scene of the explosion just in front of the famous Park and Shop Mall.  NEMA operatives, working with safety officials of the Road Safety corps helped cordoned the scene from vehicle and commuter passage.


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