20 May 2014

Nigeria: Death Toll Climbs After Car Bombing Rips Through City

A twin car bombing in Nigeria has left over 100 people dead, according to the country's National Emergency Agency. The blasts occurred in the central city of Jos.

Emergency workers recovered 118 bodies from the site of a deadly bombing in the Nigerian city of Jos late Tuesday. Nigeria's National Emergency Agency reported the latest figure, which reflected a stark jump from the original estimate of just under 50 casualties.

"[The death toll] could rise by morning, as there is still some rubble we haven't shifted... [and we believe] more bodies may be in the debris," the agency's coordinator, Mohammed Abdulsalam, said.

On Tuesday evening, improvised explosive devices hidden in a truck and minibus were detonated. The blasts, which occurred roughly half an hour apart, ripped through a central market and bus terminal in Jos, and were reportedly audible from miles away. Rubble and shattered glass lay strewn across nearby streets.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility. However, Islamist militant group, Boko Haram, has staged similar terrorist attacks in recent years in a bid to overthrow the government and usher in a (strict) Islamic state. The organization operates in the northeastern region of Nigeria. Its name translates to "Western education is sin."

The militant group most recently kidnapped over 250 school girls as a negotiating tactic to secure the release of prisoners.

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan condemned Tuesday's attacks, saying his government remains "fully committed to winning the war against terror."

In April, two separate bomb blasts in the capital, Abuja, killed 120 people and wounded a further 200. Some 25 people were killed by a suicide car bomber on Monday in northern Kano.

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