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Bus stations ‘common targets for terror attacks’

May 14
16:46 2014
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Terrorism experts have drawn attention to the vulnerability of bus stations to terror attacks in Nigeria.

The experts were analysing the two attacks in Nyanya, near Abuja, in which close to 100 persons were killed.

The first attack on April 14 resulted in 75 deaths while the second attack on May 1 resulted in 19 deaths.

The wounded in the first attack totalled 146, while the wounded in the second totalled 60.

Mr Bruce R. Butterworth, a terrorism expert at the Mineta Transportation Institute, United States, said: “Jihadist groups continue to view public surface transportation targets as lucrative ones offering terrorists the high body counts they seek.”

On the first Nyanya bombing, another terrorism expert from MTI, Mr Brian Michael Jenkins, said: “Looking at all attacks on public surface transportation systems worldwide since 1970, the Abuja bombing was the 12th most lethal attack. When comparing similar attack methods, it was the ninth most lethal attack.

“In terms of attacks involving explosives, it was the seventh most lethal bombing. Finally, looking at the attack in terms of fatalities per explosive device used, it was the fifth most lethal.”

In all, 116 Nigerians have been killed in three attacks on open-air bus stations. The number is higher when attacks on buses and bus stops are included.

Jenkins said: “Looking at the most lethal combination of terrorist devices, targets and delivery methods, open air bus stations featured in three of the 15 most lethal attacks, and VBIEDS (vehicle-borne-improved-explosive-devices) were used in four of them. Of these, three attacks were directed against bus stations and one attack against a bus itself.”

Meanwhile, the Federal Capital Territory Administration has assured Abuja residents of safety, following the “bus scare” in the city, most especially in the Nyanya-Mararaba axis.

From the findings of TheCable, some Abuja residents are afraid of converging on bus stations owing to the blasts.

Special Assistant Media to the FCT Minister, Mr Nosike Ogbuenyi, told TheCable that the FCTA was taking major steps in ensuring that residents are safe.

He said: “People should feel free to enter the high capacity buses. Currently, there is an orientation programme for high capacity bus drivers. The aim of the orientation is to make the drivers security conscious and also to arm them with the knowledge of how to screen passengers.”

He added that the FCTA was “injecting 100 new buses” into the FCT transport artery to ameliorate the transportation challenges of residents.

Follow us on twitter @thecableng

Copyright 2017 TheCable. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.thecable.ng as the source.
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