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Rediff.com  » News » World condemns Nigeria blasts; toll rises to 15

World condemns Nigeria blasts; toll rises to 15

October 02, 2010 13:06 IST

The world on Saturday condemned the three explosions that rattled Nigeria's 50th independence day in Abuja and claimed 15 lives. Condemning the attacks, Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan promised that those behind the act "will pay dearly for this heinous crime."

Nigeria's former colonial master Britain condemned the act and promised to help the oil-rich African nation in bringing the attackers to book. United Nations Secretary GeneralĀ  Ban Ki Moon also denounced the attacks. The United States also condemned the attack and condoled with families of those who lost their lives.

On Friday, three explosions, including one near a venue where the Nigerian president was present, rocked the country's 50th independence day celebrations. But the ceremony went ahead despite the explosions.

Nearly 15 foreign leaders, including a delegation from India led by Corporate Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid, were present during the attack.

The explosions came after Nigeria's main militant group sent a warning that there is "nothing worth celebrating after 50 years" as the people of the Niger Delta have had their land and resources stolen.

Describing the attack 'as an act of terrorism aimed at the heart of Nigeria', a prominent Islamic group Muslim Rights Concern, denounced the bombing. The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta had earlier claimed responsibility for the attack by issuing a warning ahead of the explosions.

"MEND has no moral justification for carrying out this attack which has claimed innocent lives because there is an amnesty and rehabilitation programme going on," MURIC said.

One of the explosions occurred at the Eagle's Square, where Jonathan was present to witness the military formation. Another explosion at the millennium park near the Eagle Square killed at least seven people, an eyewitness told PTI.

More than 22 injured victims were rushed to hospitals for urgent medical attention.

Paul Ohia In Abuja