A car loaded with explosives crashed into the main United Nations building in Nigeria's capital of Abuja and exploded August 26th, killing more than 23 and wounding 73 people in one of the deadliest assaults on the international body in a decade. An extremist group, commonly known as Boko Haram, blamed for a series of attacks in the country claimed responsibility for the attack.
Boko Haram has been blamed for many attacks on figures in northeastern Nigeria. The group has also claimed responsibility for other bombings, including the June bombing of Nigeria's national police headquarters in Abuja. Boko Haram, among other things, wants a stricter form of Islamic law applied more widely across Nigeria.
President Barack Obama strongly condemned the attack on the U.N. headquarters building in Nigeria. "The people who serve the United Nations," said President Obama, "do so with a simple purpose: to try to improve the lives of their neighbors and promote the values on which the U.N. was founded – dignity, freedom, security, and peace." The U.N. has been working in Nigeria for more than five decades.
Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan has vowed to bring terrorism under control. The Economic Community of West African States, or ECOWAS, has said it is working with member countries and the U.N to formulate a framework to combat terrorism. Sonny Ugoh, spokesman for ECOWAS, said combating terrorism is a new undertaking for the organization. "We are trying to work with the U.N.," he said, "so that we can integrate the best practices to combat this challenge."
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said "there is no justification" for the attack on U.N. headquarters in Nigeria. "These individuals were working to promote peace, expand opportunity and build a safer and more prosperous nation. . . .Vicious terrorist attacks such as these only strengthen our resolve and commitment to the work of the United Nations and the people of Nigeria."