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Sunday Times STLive By Sapa-AFP, 2011-01-01

Barracks bomb claims 4 on New Year's Eve

Four people died and 26 were injured in a New Year's Eve bomb attack on a crowded market on the edge of a military barracks in the Nigerian capital of Abuja, the country's defence minister said yesterday.

"As at this moment, four people died from the blast, including a pregnant woman. Twenty-six others were injured, 11 of them seriously," Adetokunbo Kayode told journalists.

Kayode promised a "thorough investigation" and said the attackers would be severely punished.

"I suspect nobody but I assure you that we will go through a very thorough, deep investigation. Anybody that is involved in this will be tracked down and will be made to face the full wrath of the law," he said.

All the dead and most of the injured were civilians, the minister said.

It was the second bomb attack in the Nigerian capital in three months and the first explosion near an army barracks in Nigeria since the return of democracy in 1999.

President Goodluck Jonathan has denounced the attack as a "new and dangerous challenge to our peace and stability". The bomb went off around 7pm at a popular eating and drinking spot on the fringes of the Mogadishu Barracks, located in a heavily fortified area of Abuja. There have been no claims of responsibility. -