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Over 30 dead in Nigeria bomb blast

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New Delhi: Over 30 people were killed in a bomb blast on Wednesday in Yola, northeast Nigeria. The blast is suspected to be an attempt to send a message to the government by Boko Haram, just one day after President Muhammadu Buhari visit, announcing that the Islamist militant group were close to defeat.

The explosion took place in Jambu area of Adamawa, the state capital, around 8:20 pm (1920 GMT). There has been no clarification given by the state regarding the manner of the bombing- suicide bomber or use of an explosive device.

Neither an official statement was issued to clarify the number of dead and wounded in the Nigeria bomb blast.

“So far, we’ve recorded about 32 dead and about 80 injured,” said Sa’ad Bello, the Yola coordinator for the National Emergency Management Agency.

However, the Red Cross and state police provided with a marginally lower toll of 31 dead and 72 injured. Boko Haram had earlier also attacked Yola with suicide bombers.

The President, during his visit, addressed the soldiers fighting against counter-insurgency and said that the Boko Haram would soon be defeated and urged the soldiers to continue being attentive. He also added Boko Haram would be punished for sneaking into their communities to attack soft targets.

The blast site was instantly cordoned off though the power cut slowed the rescue process in Yola. This was the first blast in Nigeria since last month. This positively reflects the army’s attempts to cut off the Boko Haram from their camp sites.

The country is strategizing to bring an end to militancy in the state by the next month.

The neighbouring areas of Chad, Niger and Cameroon are being increasingly attacked by rebels. To crush these rebels, a deadline was set by Buhari for his military commanders till the end of next month.

However, in urban areas which are particularly crowded, there is a great difficulty in neutralising this threat on account of the Yola explosion.

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Nigerian Firm Apologizes for Google’s Glitch

Main One, which describes itself as a leading provider of telecom and network services for businesses in West Africa, said that it had investigated the matter.

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Google, Main One
A Google logo is seen at the company's headquarters in Mountain View, California, VOA

Nigeria’s Main One Cable took responsibility Tuesday for a glitch that temporarily caused some Google global traffic to be misrouted through China, saying it accidentally caused the problem during a network
upgrade.

The issue surfaced Monday afternoon as internet monitoring firms ThousandEyes and BGPmon said some traffic to Alphabet’s Google had been routed through China and Russia, raising concerns that the communications had been intentionally hijacked.

Main One said in an email that it had caused a 74-minute glitch by misconfiguring a border gateway protocol filter used to route traffic across the internet. That resulted in some Google traffic being sent through Main One partner China Telecom, the West African firm said.

Google has said little about the matter. It acknowledged the problem Monday in a post on its website that said it was investigating the glitch and that it believed the problem originated outside the company. The company did not say how many users were affected or identify specific customers.

Google, Main One
Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks during a news conference in New Delhi. VOA

Google representatives could not be reached Tuesday to comment on Main One’s statement.

Hacking concerns

Even though Main One said it was to blame, some security experts said the incident highlighted concerns about the potential for hackers to conduct espionage or disrupt communications by exploiting known vulnerabilities in the way traffic is routed over the internet.

The U.S. China Economic and Security Review Commission, a Washington group that advises the U.S. Congress on security issues, plans to investigate the issue, said Commissioner Michael Wessel.

“We will work to gain more facts about what has happened recently and look at what legal tools or legislation or law enforcement activities can help address this problem,” Wessel said.

Google, Main One, YouTube, Google, google services
A Google logo is displayed at the entrance to the internet based company’s offices in Toronto. VOA

Glitches in border gateway protocol filters have caused multiple outages to date, including cases in which traffic from U.S. internet and financial services firms was routed through Russia, China and Belarus.

Yuval Shavitt, a network security researcher at Tel Aviv University, said it was possible that Monday’s issue was not an accident.

Also Read: Google Investigating The Root Cause Of its Malfunction

“You can always claim that this is some kind of configuration error,” said Shavitt, who last month co-authored a paper alleging that the Chinese government had conducted a series of internet hijacks.

Main One, which describes itself as a leading provider of telecom and network services for businesses in West Africa, said that it had investigated the matter and implemented new processes to prevent it from happening again. (VOA)