Car bombing hits UN headquarters in Nigeria

Abuja - MAP - At least 16 people have been killed in an apparent suicide car bombing at the United Nations headquarters in the Nigerian capital, Abuja.

The powerful blast destroyed the lower floors of the building. Dozens have been injured, some critically.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon said the attack was "an assault on those who devote their lives to helping others".

A UN official told the BBC the UN had had intelligence that it could be targeted by Islamist group Boko Haram.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity in Nigeria, said the information was received last month.

The official said security had been stepped up at all UN offices in Nigeria in response.

A car bombing at police headquarters in June was blamed on Boko Haram, a group which wants the establishment of Sharia law in Nigeria.

No group has said it carried out Friday's attack, but government officials have blamed "terrorists" for the bombing, says the BBC's Bashir Sa'ad Abdullahi, who is at the site of the explosion.

Analysts say that the scale and target of the attack could point to a link with international terror groups.

But investigators are yet to examine the evidence and a UN spokesman reiterated that it was not clear who was responsible.

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