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Aftermath of Abuja rush-hour bomb blast

Injured men and women have arrived at the Maitama general hospital in Abuja, after a shopping complex bomb blast killed 21 and injured 17.

A man is brought into the hospital after being injured in the Abuja blast. Credit: REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde
Firefighters douse cars after a bomb blast at a crowded shopping district in Abuja. Credit: REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde
A woman weeps at the scene of the explosion. Credit: REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

More: At least 21 dead in Nigeria explosion

Shoppers were 'blood stained' after Abuja blast

After an explosion in the popular Banex Plaza shopping district in Abuja, Nigeria, witnesses spoke of seeing people covered in blood in the direct aftermath.

One shopper Gimbya Jafaru, told Reuters: "I heard a loud blast, it shattered the windows of the shop. We ran out. A lot of people ran too, some with blood stains."

People look at the devastation after a bomb destroyed a shopping area in Abuja. Credit: AP

At least 21 people have been killed and 17 were injured according to the latest reports.

More: At least 21 dead in Nigeria explosion

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Nigerian blast death toll rises to 21 in Abuja

The death toll following an explosion in Nigeria has climbed to 21, police have said.

17 others were wounded after the blast tore through a shopping district in Abuja during rush hour.

The explosion rocked an area near the popular Banex Plaza. Credit: AP

Police spokesman Frank Mba told reporters: "After a preliminary investigation we can confirm that 21 people were killed and 17 injured."

It is unclear who is responsible for the explosion at this stage.

More: At least 21 dead in Nigeria explosion

Nigerian security forces deny abduction reports

Nigerian security forces have denied reports that 60 girls and women and 31 boys have been abducted in the northeast of the country.

There is no way to safely and independently confirm the report from Kummabza, located 95 miles from the capital of Borno state, the Associated Press reported.

Aji Khalil, of a local anti-Boko Haram group, told AP the abductions took place Saturday in an attack in which four villagers were killed.

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Nigeria kidnapping: 57 girls reunited with families so far

Nigerian families have been reunited with 57 of the girls abducted by Islamist militant group Boko Haram but over 200 are still missing, the government said.

Boko Haram released a video of some of the girls in April. Credit: ITV News

Some 219 girls remain at large after the mass kidnapping in April, Brigadier General Ibrahim Sabo, who is chairman of the government's fact-finding committee on the kidnapping, said in a statement.

Fears Boko Haram are spreading to southern Nigeria

Some of the 500 arrested travellers. Credit: Reuters

There are fears the Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram could be spreading south, after security forces found a senior member in a convoy of nearly 500 travellers arrested this week in the southern state of Abia. Traditionally, the group has been largely confined to the Muslim north.

It also raises the concern that the group, which drew worldwide attention in April when it kidnapped more than 200 girls from a school in northeast Nigeria, could eventually attempt attacks in the oil-rich Niger delta.

Some of the vehicles from the convoy intercepted by security forces. Credit: Reuters

Officials said on Monday that nearly 500 people believed to be northerners had been arrested overnight while travelling through the south in a convoy of more than 30 vans.

Boko Haram are suspects in the bombing of a Nigerian television bar yesterday, in which 13 people died while watching a World Cup game. No one has yet claimed responsibility, however.

Read: Fifa 'deeply saddened' by Nigeria bombing

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