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'High casualties' after Nigeria blasts: NEMA

21 September 2015, 20:38

Lagos - NEMA on Monday warned of high casualties a day after after multiple explosions blamed on Islamist militants Boko Haram hit the city of Maiduguri.

The blasts happened shortly after 7:20 pm on Sunday in the Gomari and Ajilari areas of the city, said Ibrahim Abdulkadir, spokesman of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

"Our team responded promptly by evacuating bodies of victims to the mortuaries and those injured to the hospitals for treatment," he told AFP by telephone.

Abdulkadir was not able to give an exact death toll but he added: "The casualty is high. One of the explosives was planted in a mosque where people were praying."

The military confirmed three bombs went off in the city but also did not give any casualty figures.

Also read: NEMA donates relief materials to victims in Gombe

"Although details are not clear, it is important to note the attacks signify high level of desperation on the part of the Boko Haram terrorists," army spokesman Sani Usman said.

Local residents spoke of hearing at least two explosions within a few minutes of each other in the Binta Sugar area.

Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state and the birthplace of Boko Haram in 2002, has been the epicentre of the six-year-old insurgency.

Nigeria's military has claimed successes in overrunning rebel positions in recent weeks and claims the militants are in disarray.

Boko Haram's elusive leader Abubakar Shekau, however, dismissed the army's claims as "lies" in an audio recording released on social media on Saturday.



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