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Twin Car Bombs Kill More Than 100 In Nigeria

Smoke rises after a bomb blast at a bus terminal in Jos, Nigeria, on Tuesday.
Stefanos Foundation
Smoke rises after a bomb blast at a bus terminal in Jos, Nigeria, on Tuesday.

This post was updated at 7:50 p.m. ET.

Two explosions in the central Nigerian city of Jos killed at least 118 people and wounded dozens more on Tuesday, officials said.

The car bombs were detonated about a half-hour apart at a bus terminal and market.

"I can't tell you the figure of those killed by the blasts now, because we are still evacuating bodies from the scene," Alhaji Abdulsalam Adubakar, a National Emergency Management Agency official, told the News Agency of Nigeria. "The only thing I can say is that the casualty figure is very massive. It is a catastrophe."

Nigeria's National Emergency Management Agency said at least 118 people had been killed and that fires were still burning eight hours after the twin explosions.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks, but The Associated Press reports that "they bore the hallmarks of Boko Haram," the Islamic extremist group that has gained international notoriety for having kidnapped more than 270 schoolgirls last month.

More than 1,000 people been killed in Boko Haram bombings this year, according to the BBC. Most of the group's attacks, including the mass kidnapping, have taken place in its northeastern stronghold.

But Jos is in the center of the country. Two separate blasts in April killed more than 120 people in Abuja, Nigeria's capital, which is about 250 kilometers to the southwest of Jos.

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan called Tuesday's bombings "cruel and evil."

"The government remains fully committed to winning the war against terror and this administration will not be cowed by the atrocities of enemies of human progress and civilization," he said in a statement.

Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani, a Nigerian novelist, cautioned against giving too much attention or ascribing too many "grand motives" to Boko Haram.

"We may not be able to take the guns and bombs out of the hands of Boko Haram and their ilk yet, but since they are not content to take full advantage of Instagram or Facebook — as many other attention-seekers of this age are — the media must stop fueling their inner psychopaths," she wrote in a commentary for CNN.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Alan Greenblatt has been covering politics and government in Washington and around the country for 20 years. He came to NPR as a digital reporter in 2010, writing about a wide range of topics, including elections, housing economics, natural disasters and same-sex marriage.
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