'14 killed' in Nigeria suicide bomb attack on World Cup viewing venue


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The Independent Online

A suicide bomber in a tricycle taxi triggered an explosion at a World Cup viewing centre in north-east Nigeria. Police said 14 people died and 26 were wounded

The attack was in Damaturu, capital of Yobe state.

Boko Haram Islamic extremists have targeted football viewing centres and sports bars in recent weeks, killing at least 40 people in two blasts in northern cities. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast.

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

Police assistant superintendent Nathan Cheghan said rescue workers were being careful for fear of secondary explosions, often timed to kill people who rush to the scene of a bomb blast.

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.

The United States is searching for the girls with drones and has sent experts along with Britain and France to help in counter-terrorism tactics and hostage negotiation.

Boko Haram's leader Abubakar Shekau has threatened to sell the girls into slavery unless the government agrees to exchange them for detained extremists, but President Goodluck Jonathan has said he will not exchange prisoners.

Nigeria's military has said it knows where the girls are but that any military campaign could get them killed.

Boko Haram wants to enforce an Islamic state in Nigeria, Africa's biggest oil producer, with a population almost equally divided between Christians and Muslims.