World Cup

Explosion rocks World Cup viewing venue in Nigeria

An explosion ripped through a viewing center on Tuesday for people watching World Cup Soccer in Damaturu in northern Nigeria, according to various media, and some sources say there have been deaths.

WItnesses said the blast happened after a suicide bomber steered a tricycle packed with explosives to the venue where people were viewing the game between Brazil and Mexico.

Damaturu is a town in the state of Yobe, one of three northeastern Nigerian states under a state of emergency since May due to attacks by the militant group Boko Haram, according to the Guardian, a Nigerian news organization.

Boko Haram is the terror organization responsible for kidnapping 300 Nigerian girls in April that prompted the global "Bring Back Our Girls" campaign. The United Nations last month sanctioned the group that has ties to al Qaeda.

Details regarding the explosion were scant as of Tuesday night, but medical sources told the Vanguard, a Nigerian news organization, that casualities were arriving at hospitals.

The Associated Press reported at least 15 people suffered critical wounds.

"Our men have deployed to the scene but it's too early for us to give details," Sanusi Ruf'ai, Yoba police commissioner, told Agence France-Presse.

Trucks carrying bodies have arrived at a local hospital, Reuters was reporting.

At least two Nigerian states banned viewing centers, open-air spaces where soccer fans gather to watch games on a big screen, after attacks suspected to have been orchestrated by the militant Boko Haram.

In April, gunmen suspected to be representing Boko Haram stormed a packed venue where people were watching soccer championship matches and shot two people dead.

Last week, the northeastern Nigerian state of Adamawa banned all viewing centers from opening saying officials had intelligence of planned bomb attacks, according to the Guardian.

Two explosions in recent weeks killed at least 40 people in two northern cities.

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