Car Bomb Rocks UN Building in Nigeria; 7 Dead

'We believe there are many casualties,' says a UN official
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 26, 2011 6:22 AM CDT
Updated Aug 26, 2011 8:35 AM CDT
Bomb Rocks UN Building in Nigeria
This image released by Saharareporters shows an injured man being stretchered down a ladder by firefighters after an explosion struck the United Nations' office in Nigeria's capital Abuja, Aug. 26, 2011.   (AP Photo/Saharareporters)

A car laden with explosives rammed through two gates and blew up at the United Nations' offices in Nigeria's capital today, killing at least seven people and shattering part of the concrete structure. The brazen attack, carried out as the UN offices teemed with staff, comes as Africa's most populous nation faces the growing threat of both homegrown and international terrorism. Militants from the country's oil-rich Niger Delta, as well as a radical Muslim sect from northeast Nigeria, have carried out attacks in the country's capital, though never on a foreign target. No one immediately claimed responsibility for today's attack.

Witnesses told the AP that a sedan rammed through two separate gates at the UN compound as guards tried to stop the vehicle. The suicide bomber inside drove the car up to the main reception of the building and detonated the explosives, inflicting the most damage possible, witnesses said. "I saw scattered bodies," said a UNICEF worker at the building. "Many people are dead." A local hospital administrator said it had treated as many as 40 victims so far, with more people coming in; authorities were still trying to account for everyone inside the building at the time of the explosion. (Read more Nigeria stories.)

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