Abuja: Nigeria launched an investigation into the massive suicide attack at the high security UN headquarters here, as the number of dead in the bombing went up to 19 on Saturday.
A suicide bomber rammed an explosives-laden car into the building of the UN Headquarters in the Nigerian capital on Friday, destroying a huge portion of the five-storey building that houses 400 UN employees.
Officials on Saturday said that 19 people were confirmed dead in the bombing for which radical Islamic sect Boko Haram has claimed responsibility. The claim could not, however, be verified.
A suicide bomber rammed an explosives-laden car into the UN Headquarters building in the Nigerian capital on Friday.
On Friday the toll had been put at 18, including two women and a foreigner.
The people trapped in the damaged building have been evacuated since. Dozens have been injured in the attack and hospitals were full of people being treated since on Friday.
The building that came under attack is the UN's main office in Nigeria, where 26 humanitarian and development agencies are based.
UN chief Ban Ki-moon strongly condemned the attack in Abuja and said it highlighted how the United Nations was becoming a "soft target".
He said "this was an assault on those who devote their lives to helping others."
United Nations Secretary General Asha-Rose Migiro and UN security chief Greg Starr were rushing to Nigeria in the aftermath of the attack, as the security lapse that allowed the suicide bomber breach the tight security and ram his vehicle into the building came to be questioned.
Police spokesman Yemi Ajayi said investigators were taking several approaches to the investigation.
Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan has condemned attack, describing it as "barbaric, senseless and cowardly".
The President said the attack is the most despicable assault on the UN's objectives of global peace and security, and "the sanctity of human life to which Nigeria wholly subscribes".
Nigeria's population is 150 million and the country is split between a largely Christian south and Muslim north.
Nigeria has faced an increasing threat from Boko Haram, which wants to impose the strict Shariah law on the country.
The sect is responsible for assassinations and bombings, including the June car bombing of the national headquarters of the federal police that killed at least two people.