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Thursday, September 15, 2011

A flow of tears witnessed at the memorial of UN bomb blast victims

A lady weeps for her relation. Photo: Saharareporters
Abuja (NAN) Wailing UN members of staff, deceased’s family members, diplomats and government representatives on Thursday gathered at the requiem to mourn fatalities of Aug. 26 bomb blasts at UN Office in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that 11 UN members died in the disaster, as well as 10 non-members of staff and two unidentified bodies.
A total of 116 people were also injured.
At the memorial service held amidst tight security, the Governor of Niger State, representing the Governors’
Forum, Dr Babangida Aliyu expressed sympathy with those who lost beloved ones in the tragedy.
He restated the call for the perpetrators to be brought to book as soon as possible, adding that the occasion was a wake-up call to fight terrorism.
He said the governors had resolved to support President Jonathan in his fight against terrorism.
NAN reports that the display of the photographs of those who died evoked emotions, drawing many present to weep, while counsellors tried to console them.
In a message, President Goodluck Jonathan, represented by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Gbenga Ashiru said Nigeria would continue to work with the UN as partners in peace, development and progress.
The President said the country would ensure the immediate rehabilitation of the UN building.

“Government will also ensure that all those responsible for this terrorist act are brought to justice,’’ he said.
The UN Secretary-General, Mr Ban Ki-moon in his condolence message, said that the attack showed utter disregard for human lives, and an assault on UN values.
“At this time of sorrow and loss, let us pledge to honour their sacrifices by continuing to make the UN presence in Nigeria a beacon of peace and hope,’’ he said.
He stated that the UN was re-assessing security situation in Nigeria and elsewhere as it was the first attack of its kind in the country.
Also in attendance were the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, and Chief Imam of Abuja, Ustaz Musa Mohammed, as well as other religious leaders.

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