ABUJA, Nigeria — A suicide bomber detonated a car loaded with explosives Thursday at the office of a major Nigerian newspaper in the country's capital and another man threw a bomb near another newspaper office in Kaduna, killing at least six people in the attacks, witnesses said.
The attack in Abuja struck the offices of ThisDay, an influential daily newspaper. The bombing in Kaduna struck a building housing offices for ThisDay, The Moment and The Daily Sun newspapers, witnesses said.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks, though they mirrored others previously carried out by a radical Islamist sect responsible for hundreds of deaths in Nigeria this year alone. In Abuja, the suicide bomber rammed his car through the gates of the ThisDay office and drove into the reception area before the explosion, said Nwakpa O. Nwakpa, a spokesman for the Nigerian Red Cross. The blast killed at least three people and wounded others, Nwakpa said.
Soldiers and police officers quickly surrounded the building, which had part of its roof torn away and all its windows blown out by the force of the explosion. The attack in Kaduna also included a car loaded with explosives, though people at the newspaper office quickly surrounded the car, witnesses said. The driver then began shouting that there was a bomb inside the car, witness Jemilu Abdullahi said.
Those there allowed the man to open the trunk of the car and he pulled out an object and threw it at the crowd, which exploded, Abdullahi said. Abdullahi said at least three people died in that blast. It is unclear why bombers targeted ThisDay, a newspaper owned by the politically connected media mogul Nduka Obaigbena. In 2002, rioting over an article published by ThisDay suggesting the Prophet Muhammad would have married a Miss World pageant contestant killed dozens in Kaduna.
The attack comes as the radical Islamist sect known as Boko Haram continues its violent campaign against Nigeria's weak central government. The sect is blamed for killed more than 440 people this year alone, according to an Associated Press count.