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Explosion rocks World Cup viewing venue in Nigeria

DAMATURU, Nigeria — A suicide bomber detonated a tricycle taxi packed with explosives at an outdoor World Cup viewing center in a northeast Nigerian city Tuesday night, and witnesses said several people were killed.

Hospital workers said the death toll likely would rise with 15 people critically wounded and casualties still coming in to the main hospital at Damaturu, capital of Yobe state.

Police Assistant Superintendent Nathan Cheghan confirmed the explosion but said rescue workers were being careful for fear of secondary explosions. Islamic extremists of the Boko Haram group frequently time secondary explosions to kill people who rush to the scene of a bomb blast.

Cheghan said he had no casualty figures.

There was no claim of responsibility for the blast that witnesses were blaming on Boko Haram fighters, who have targeted soccer viewing centers and sports bars in the past.

Witnesses said the tricycle taxi was driven into the outdoor area soon after the Brazil-Mexico match started Tuesday night.

One hospital worker said he saw at least seven bodies. Another said 15 casualties were in intensive care. Both asked that their names not be published because they were not authorized to speak to reporters.

Nigeria's military has promised increased security but appears incapable of halting a stream of attacks by extremists holding more than 250 schoolgirls hostage.

The kidnapping of the girls two months ago and failure of Nigeria's military and government to rescue them has roused international concern.

Explosion rocks World Cup viewing venue in Nigeria 06/17/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 17, 2014 11:02pm]
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