There has been a bomb blast at the United Nations headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria, claiming at least 18 lives.
The explosion around 10:00 Friday morning, is by a suicide bomber believed to be member of the Boko Haram Islamic sect that has claimed responsibility for several bomb blasts in the West African country.
Report says the suicide bomber drove into the compound of the headquarters breaching the gates with full speed and driving into the first floor of the building before activating the explosives.
Many were trapped when the four-storey building collapsed causing severe injuries. The survivors are presently being treated at Government hospitals in Abuja.
President Goodluck Jonathan said the bomb blast is an assault on global peace and security in a statement released by his spokesman, Rueben Abati. The president also promised “vigorous response.”
“The president extends his sincere condolences to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon and all members of the United Nations family who have lost loved ones in the heinous attack.”
The statement also said Mr. Jonathan “reaffirms the Federal Government’s total commitment to vigorously combat the incursion of all forms of terrorism into Nigeria, and wishes to reassure all Nigerians and the international community that his Administration will spare no effort to bring the perpetrators to justice.”
The President has also directed all relevant government agencies to assist in the search and rescue effort at the UN Building, and ordered heightened security across the Federal Capital Territory.
He urges Nigerians and foreigners resident in the country to go about their affairs with the full assurance that the Federal Government and its law enforcement agencies will continue working diligently to ensure the full protection of lives and property in the country.