Nigerian Bombings Kill at Least 27 in Northeastern Cities

At least 27 people were killed in bombings at a bus station and market in Nigeria’s northeastern cities of Gombe and Bauchi, according to the Red Cross and witnesses.

The first explosives went off in a car at the Dukku motor park in Gombe, killing at least 20 people at about 11 a.m. today, Abubakar Yakubu Gombe, the Red Cross secretary for Gombe state, said by phone. A second bombing today hit Bauchi’s central market at about 5 p.m., killing seven and leaving “several injured,” Sani Garba, another Red Cross official, said in an interview from the city. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

“At the scene of the blast I saw about 20 bodies lying on the ground and we have helped take them in a bus to the hospital,” Abubakar Shehu, a resident in Gombe, said by phone from the city. “We also helped to evacuate the injured ones, I counted 17 of them.”

Authorities in Africa’s most populous nation of more than 170 million are struggling to contain a five-year insurgency by Islamist militant group Boko Haram, which has killed more than 13,000 people, according to the government.

At the Bauchi bomb site “we have recovered about seven dead bodies and several injured ones and have taken them to the two hospitals,” said Garba. “There could be more dead bodies.”

Gombe state police spokesman Fwaji Atajiri confirmed the bombing, though declined to give casualty numbers until after an investigation, he said by phone. Haruna Mohammed, a spokesman for Bauchi’s state police, also declined to comment on casualties until after an investigation.

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