Jun 17, 2014, 8:39 PM EST
A viewing party in a Nigerian area plagued by terrorist attacks was hit by an explosion before today’s match between Brazil and Mexico, leaving unconfirmed reports of casualties as hospitals near the northern city of Damaturu deal with those injured by the blast.
According to the BBC’s report, the explosion occurred around 20:15 local time at an outdoor viewing center in the state of Yobe, one of three areas under a state of emergency after recent attacks from an Islamic militant group.
Local officials had warned that the popular venues may be the target of Boko Haram (translated from Huasa as “Western education is forbidden”), who’ve deemed soccer as an un-Islamic activity.
Though some eye witnesses have reported casualties, officials have yet to confirm any deaths associated with the blast. From the BBC’s reporting:
“There was an explosion outside a soccer viewing centre here in Damaturu at around 20:15,” Sanusi Ruf’ai, police commissioner for Yobe state, told AFP news agency.
“Our men have deployed to the scene but it’s too early for us to give details.”
Trucks carrying bodies have arrived at a local hospital, Reuters news agency reported, citing a source at the hospital.
Some additional information on the conflict, which is taking place in the areas west of Nigeria’s borders with Cameroon, Chad, and Niger:
On Thursday, the north-eastern state of Adamawa ordered all venues planning to show live coverage of the football tournament to close, saying they had received intelligence of planned bomb attacks.
The states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa have been under a state of emergency since May 2013. At least 2,000 people have died in the north-east since Boko Haram launched an insurgency in 2009.
For groups like Boko Haram, the World Cup viewing centers are unfortunately easy targets. From reporting by Reuters:
Earlier this month, a bomb blast targeting another informal venue in northeast Nigeria where soccer fans had gathered killed at least 14 people and wounded 12.
Such assaults on the often-ramshackle television viewing centres have raised fears militant groups will target supporters gathering to cheer on the global soccer contests.
Many fans in soccer-mad Africa rely on informal venues – often open-sided structures with televisions set up in shops and side streets – to watch live coverage of the sport.
Jan 28, 2015, 3:01 PM EST
Huge trade now makes sense as Kljestan arrives in MLS.
Jan 28, 2015, 2:39 PM EST
With less than a week left in the window, here’s the latest gossip…
Jan 28, 2015, 2:00 PM EST
Toronto native Hoilett chats to PST about MLS, being involved in a Premier League relegation battle and much more in this one-on-one.
Jan 28, 2015, 1:10 PM EST
Wenger get’s his man as Arsenal’s new center back has finally arrived.
Jan 28, 2015, 12:28 PM EST
Costa could miss Chelsea’s massive clash against Man City on Saturday. All the details, here.
Jan 28, 2015, 11:47 AM EST
Chelsea’s injury problems are piling up ahead of their huge tilt against City this Saturday.
Jan 28, 2015, 10:36 AM EST
After seeing red, Ronaldo will now miss Real’s next two games after ban for violent conduct.
Jan 28, 2015, 10:10 AM EST
Is Figo the man to take charge of world’s soccer’s governing body?
Jan 28, 2015, 9:25 AM EST
Super Bowl week brings out two NFL players for the latest podcast.
Jan 28, 2015, 9:01 AM EST
Michael Oliver, it’s over to you…
Jan 28, 2015, 7:55 AM EST
Bale tells Spanish radio station that he’s hanging around in the Spanish capital for some time to come.
Jan 27, 2015, 11:01 PM EST
Already it feels like Montreal has a major chance to be the winner in this deal, and that’s before they do anything with the allocation money.
Jan 27, 2015, 10:05 PM EST
It certainly wasn’t the wildest of days for the transfer rumor mill, but Manchester United, Southampton and Crystal Palace all said hello.
Jan 27, 2015, 9:12 PM EST
Surely Brendan Rodgers wouldn’t have been surprised to see Diego Costa’s temper flare up, but it didn’t make him any more understanding.
Jan 27, 2015, 8:32 PM EST
An ESPN FC report regarding Gedion Zelalem’s U.S. eligibility looks alarming, but is it a cause for concern?
Jan 27, 2015, 7:17 PM EST
He’s heinous. He’s prolific. He’s the Luis Suarez of 2015. And he’s making this season worth watching and hating. Unless you’re a Chelsea supporter.
Jan 27, 2015, 6:21 PM EST
Liverpool was the superior team in the first 45 minutes, but couldn’t find the finishing touch.
Jan 27, 2015, 5:17 PM EST
The Blues won 1-0 on the match and 2-1 on aggregate to move on the League Cup final versus Wednesday’s winner of Spurs and Sheffield United.
Jan 27, 2015, 4:12 PM EST
Six of eight knockout round slots are filled for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations, and a couple well-known names are going home.
Jan 27, 2015, 3:00 PM EST
The Socceroos reached the AFC final for just the second-time in their history.
- Queens Park Rangers’ Canadian winger Junior Hoilett on Toronto FC, relegation battles and more 0
- English FA charge Chelsea’s Diego Costa with violent conduct after stamp, may miss Man City match 1
- Men in Blazers podcast: Talking FA Cup upsets with guests Spencer Lanning, Josh Scobee 0
- Gareth Bale dismisses Manchester United speculation, happy at Real Madrid 6
- In less than five months, Diego Costa has become Premier League villain No. 1 4
- Chelsea 1-0 Liverpool: Ivanovic ensures Blues trip to Cup final after testy second leg 0