The United States (US) and the United Kingdom (UK) on Monday condemned a bomb attack on a packed bus station in Nigeria which killed 72 people, and called for a full investigation.
The US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki, while also condemning a series of attacks on three villages in Borno State over the weekend said that “we are outraged by this senseless act of violence against innocent civilians.”
The bomb, which also injured 124 people, rocked the Nyanya station on Abuja’s southern outskirts as it was filled with morning commuters, leaving body parts scattered across the terminal and destroying dozens of vehicles.
President Goodluck Jonathan blamed Boko Haram militants for the attack, but Psaki called for a “full investigation to identify and bring justice to the perpetrators of these attacks.”
“We continue to stand with the Nigerian government and people as they grapple with violent extremism,” she added.
Washington was working with the Nigerian “government and its neighbors to address the growing threat of Boko Haram in a comprehensive manner,” Psaki said, but warned it was too early to say the attack had been carried out by Boko Haram.
The United States designated Nigeria’s radical Islamist Boko Haram network and an offshoot known as Ansaru as terror groups in November, bowing to months of pressure to act.
The State Department has offered a $7 million reward for information leading to the arrest of Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau.
The UK Foreign Secretary William Hague, in a statement on Monday, condemned the bomb attack at Nyanya motor park.
Hague said: “I was deeply saddened to hear of the bomb explosion in the east of Abuja.
“I unreservedly condemn those responsible and hope they are swiftly brought to justice.
“ I offer the British government’s deepest condolences to the bereaved and those who have suffered injury.’’
Hague reiterated that Britain would continue to work closely with the Nigerian government to help tackle the threat from terrorism.
Meanwhile, the UK on Monday updated its travel advice on Nigeria, particularly the FCT, advising British Nationals to avoid the area concerned.
“A bomb attack on a bus station in the Nyanya area of Abuja on Monday, 14 April, has resulted in a number of casualties; we advise British nationals to avoid the area.’’
The updated travel advice replaces the one issued on March 30 after the foiled jail break at the DSS headquarters in Abuja.