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Dozens killed in Nigerian bomb blasts, Boko Haram connection uncertain

Aftermath of bombing in Jos, Nigeria
Geoffrey Bottson, used with permission

On Tuesday, multiple bomb blasts rocked the central Nigerian city of Jos, the UK Guardian reported, killing an estimated 46 people. Although the Islamist group Boko Haram has not taken credit, the Guardian said the blasts bore the hallmarks of other attacks carried out by the group.

The first bomb went off in a busy market that according to Geoffrey Bottson, president of Lighthouse Rescue Sports Outreach, is predominantly Christian. Bottson also told Examiner the second blast went off as people were running for safety. Eyewitness accounts, he added, estimate there are as many as 200 casualties, but Major General Dave Enetie, Commander of the Special Task Force on Jos, did not give an official number. Most of the victims are women, according to the AFP.

"Dozens of people are burnt beyond recognition," Bottson said. Survivors are now receiving attention, and there is a need for blood donations, he added.

"People started running to help the wounded, and ten minutes later the second one went off. It took off the roof of the market building. Many were trapped inside, it was a terrible scene," added Bala Mohammed, a local resident returning home from work. The force of the first explosion, he told the Guardian, knocked him to the ground.

In the last month, the Guardian added, Boko Haram set off bombs in the capital city of Abuja, and another in the city of Kano. The Abuja blast killed over 120 people and wounded more than 200 others, the AP said.

This is not the first time Jos has been hit with bombs, the AP added. As many as 80 people were killed in bomb blasts allegedly set off by Boko Haram on Christmas Eve 2010. Over 300 have been killed in attacks on towns and villages in recent weeks, and the militant group also kidnapped nearly 300 schoolgirls, prompting international outrage and a hashtag campaign.

According to the AP, over 2,000 people have been killed in the insurgency this year alone, compared to about 3,600 killed between 2010 and 2013.