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Bombs blamed on extremists kill 26

23 December 2014, 07:04

Maiduguri — Two explosions in two northeast Nigerian states on Monday killed at least 26 people and injured 79, rescue and health officials said.

A car bomb at a bus station in Gombe city killed at least 20 people and injured 60, according to Red Cross official Abubakar Yakubu. Those killed were "burned beyond recognition," he said.

In neighboring Bauchi state, west of Gombe, an explosion at a market killed at least 6 people and injured 19, said state commissioner of health Dr. Sani Malami.

The explosion came with heavy fireballs that engulfed the market and challenged firefighters, witnesses said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility but witnesses said the attacks bear all the hallmarks of Nigeria's home-grown Islamic extremist group, Boko Haram.

The bomb in Gombe came when the station was crowded with holiday travelers, said Deputy Superintendent Fwaje Atajiri.

Also Read: Boko Haram launches strikes near Cameroon border

In a separate, earlier attack Sunday night, militants yelling "Allahu akbar," meaning "God is great," drove into the northeastern town of Geidan, in Yobe state, spraying gunfire from pickup trucks, according to fleeing residents.

Police Corporal Musa Isa said the insurgents destroyed all three cell phone towers in the town, leaving it without communications.

The attackers broke into the local prison and freed the inmates, said resident Umar Ibrahim. He said they also threw bombs that set fires and destroyed the police station, government headquarters and hundreds of vehicles at a station for long-distance drivers.

- AP


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