Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Twin bombings in Jos, Nigeria leaves at least 118 dead

Dozens of people have been killed by two bomb explosions in the volatile central Nigerian city of Jos.

Police in Plateau state say that 118 have been confirmed dead so far and many more have been injured.

Journalist Hassan Ibrahim told the BBC that tension was rising in the area, with youths blocking some roads.

Jos has seen several deadly clashes between Christian and Muslim groups in recent years. Islamist group Boko Haram has also previously targeted the area.

A suicide attack in the northern city of Kano on Monday killed four people. Abducted girls

A spokesperson for the regional governor confirmed to AFP news agency that scores had been killed in Jos, most of them women.

Images posted on social media showed a huge pall of smoke over the scene.

The BBC's Will Ross in Abuja says the bombs were in a lorry and a minibus and exploded several minutes apart - one in a shopping area and one not far from a hospital.

Nobody has admitted carrying out the bombings.

Although Boko Haram has previously targeted Jos, the capital of Plateau state, the city has been relatively calm for almost two years, our correspondent says.

Plateau state lies on the fault-line which divides Nigeria's largely Muslim north from its mainly Christian south.

The state has witnessed violence blamed on land disputes between semi-nomadic Muslim Fulani herdsmen and mainly Christian Berom farmers.

The Nigerian government is also currently trying to trace more than 200 girls captured by Boko Haram in April from a boarding school in the north-eastern town of Chibok.

The case has shocked the world and prompted foreign powers to send military advisers to assist Nigeria's army tackle the insurgency.

On Tuesday, parliament approved a six-month extension of a state of emergency in three north-eastern states - Adamawa, Borno and Yobe.

More than 1,000 people have been killed in Boko Haram attacks this year but the government says it has pushed the militants back into their strongholds in Borno.

Boko Haram is fighting to overthrow the government and create an Islamic state.

However, Nigeria's violence is not confined to the north.

Earlier this month a car bomb in the capital Abuja killed at least 19 people and injured 60 more.

The explosion happened close to a bus station where at least 70 people died in a bomb blast on 14 April.


Related stories: Suicide bomber kills 4 in Kano, Nigeria

Video - Fatality count in Abuja bomb blast rises to 75 

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