Blast rocks crowded bus station near Nigeria's capital

Blast rocks crowded bus station near Nigeria's capital
This picture taken on March 14, 2014 shows people looking at smoke rising after suspected Boko Haram Islamists attacked a military base in the northeast Nigerian city of Maiduguri.

LAGOS - A loud blast rocked a bus station packed with commuters heading to Nigeria's capital Abuja on Monday, with many people feared injured, the rescue agency spokesman told AFP.

"This morning there was an explosion at the Nyanya Motor Park," Manzo Ezekiel of the National Emergency Management Agency said.

"Rescue teams are already on ground. There were so many people there at that time, so we think there must have been some injuries," he added.

Boko Haram Islamists have launched several attacks on Abuja, including bombings, but Ezekiel said the cause of the latest blast was not yet known.

Security officials were also at the scene and were working to determine the nature of the blast.

Boko Haram is blamed for scores of attacks across northern and central Nigeria that have killed thousands since 2009.

In 2011 it carried out a suicide car bombing at a United Nations building in Abuja that killed at least 26 people, one of its most prominent attacks.

Most of the group's recent violence, however, has been in the remote northeast of the country.

An attack on the outskirts of Abuja would cast further doubt on the military's claim that the insurgents have been weakened and lack the capacity to strike prominent targets.

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