A devastating explosion rocked the United Nations Building in the Central Area of Abuja on Friday morning killing a number of people, leaving others trapped and causing heavy damage.
Eyewitnesses said the explosion was caused by a suicide bomber who rammed a car loaded with explosives into the building having driven past the security barriers.
Rescue workers, security operatives moved in promptly to evacuate the building.
The explosion is believed to have been perpetrated by the Boko Haram Islamic sect. Suspected members of the sect had on Thursday hit police stations in Adamawa and Borno States before proceeding to rob banks in those states.
"A number of dead people and injured have been moved in ambulances to the hospital," police spokesman Yemi Ajayi said. "We don't have the exact figures yet and we don't want to guess."
A member of security personnel speaking on condition of anonymity spoke of "many dead."
"It looks like a suicide bombing," another source said at the scene. "A guy drove a Honda car, forced his way through the gate and rammed into the building, and then the bomb exploded."
One UN staff member said people were still trapped in the building that sustained heavy damage. "I don't know what is going on. Many people are still trapped upstairs and we need a crane to bring people down".
Ocilaje Michael, a member of the U.N. staff working at the Abuja building, "We just saw the blast coming from the building. All the people in the basement were all killed. Their bodies are littered all over the place. I saw about five dead bodies", Michael said.
The UN building is located in Abuja's diplomatic zone, not far from the US Embassy.