Blast outside Nigerian nightclub after security chiefs fired

National security adviser and defence minister sacked amid fears over spiralling violence.

Written by Agencies | Abuja | Published: June 23, 2012 2:59:40 pm

A blast went off outside a nightclub in the Nigerian capital Abuja hours after the national security adviser and defence minister were sacked amid fears over spiralling violence in the country’s north.

No casualties were reported in the explosion late yesterday. Windows in the nightclub,a bank and a barber shop were shattered and a number of cars were damaged.

“No human casualty,” Yushau Shuaib,spokesman for the National Emergency Management Agency,said. “The explosives were suspected to have been planted on a tree opposite Kryxtal Lounge.”

Nigeria has been hit by scores of bombings blamed on Islamist group Boko Haram,including some in and around Abuja.

A suicide bomb attack on UN headquarters in Abuja in August killed at least 25 people,while another at the Abuja office of one of the country’s most prominent newspapers left four dead.

Prominent areas of the capital,including major hotels,have long been under tight security over fears of more violence.

Nigeria has been grappling with Boko Haram’s insurgency for months,but criticism of President Goodluck Jonathan sharply intensified this week after three suicide bombings at churches sparked reprisals from Christian mobs who burnt mosques and killed dozens of Muslims.

Nigeria,Africa’s most populous nation and largest oil producer,is roughly divided between a mainly Muslim north and predominately Christian south.

Jonathan met with his security team yesterday after he returned from a UN environmental summit in Brazil. His decision to leave Nigeria on Tuesday for the summit as fresh riots broke out had also drawn heavy criticism.

After the meeting,Jonathan’s spokesman announced the national security adviser and defence minister had been fired.

The new security adviser is to be Sambo Dasuki,a retired colonel,prominent northerner and cousin to the Sultan of Sokoto,Nigeria’s highest Muslim spiritual figure.

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