Blast kills 21 and injures 52 at plaza in Nigerian capital


An explosion rocked a parking lot at a crowded plaza in Nigeria's capital on Wednesday afternoon (25), killing 21 people and injuring 52 others, authorities said.

According to Nigeria's National Emergency Management Agency spokesperson, the blast happened about 4 p.m. in Abuja's "ever-busy Emab Plaza ... at the peak of business,"

About 40 vehicles were destroyed, in addition to the human toll, and the Nigerian national police force said that the injured were being treated at five hospitals.

It was not immediately clear who was responsible for the attack.

According to Manzo,the area has been evacuated and security personnel managed to take control of the scene

This was the first part of a wider effort to beef up security around Abuja. The national police's inspector general ordered stepped-up security and surveillance around the capital as part of efforts "to improve overall public safety."

Nigeria has seen significant violence -- most of it centered in northern parts of that African nation and blamed on Boko Haram, an Islamist militant group with a stated aim of imposing strict Sharia law across the country.

This includes an attack earlier this month in the Borno state village of Kummabza in which militants killed 30 males and abducted 60 females, some of them girls between the ages of 3 and 12.