At least seven people have been killed in blasts in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, marring celebrations to mark 50 years since independence from the UK.

Two cars exploded outside the justice ministry after an earlier threat by oil militants to target the festivities.

The explosions were not heard at Eagle Square, where President Goodluck Jonathan was inspecting a guard of honour at the time.

Nigeria is a major oil producer yet most of the population live in poverty.

The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (Mend), a militant group in the oil-rich south, issued a threat on Friday morning saying it intended to bomb the event.

If Mend are responsible for the blasts, it would be the first time that the group has targeted the capital.

Eyewitnesses say emergency workers are at the scene, moving bodies into vehicles.

“There are seven bodies, including a senior police officer,” a police source told AFP news agency.

Our reporter says there may have been a smaller third explosion within the parade ground, but security staff at the time said it was a gun that had gone off accidentally.

Source: BBC