LAGOS-(AFP) – The United Nations on Saturday said nine of its staff members were confirmed dead after a suicide bomb attack on its headquarters in the Nigerian capital Abuja and dozens were hospitalised.
“The UN is still assessing the human toll,” a statement said of Friday’s bomb blast.
“Nine UN staff members are confirmed dead and many dozen are hospitalised with injuries. This figure does not include the deaths of any non-UN staff including security and visitors.”
Casualty numbers may change as assessments continue, the statement said.
Nigeria’s emergency management agency has said at least 19 people were killed in total.
“These deaths and injuries are a grievous blow to the UN family and our national partners,” Agathe Lawson, the UN’s acting resident coordinator in Nigeria, said in the UN statement.
“We have lost motivated, bright, selfless people who were working only for the good of Nigeria and the world. Our priority now is to ensure those who are injured and the families of those who died are cared for.”
She added that “our second and urgent priority is to ensure the UN operations continue. We will not be deterred in our mission to work to improve the lives of Nigerians. This is why we are here.”
The UN headquarters in Abuja included about 400 staff.
Friday’s suicide attack saw the bomber penetrate tight security and ram his car into the building.