Explosions in Nigerian towns in north kill at least 34
JOS, Nigeria (AP) Explosions in Nigeria's north central city of Jos and the northeastern town of Biu over the past two days have killed at least 34 people, witnesses said Thursday.
Residents say at least 15 people were killed in two bomb explosions at a bus station and motor park in the city of Jos. Iliyasu Aliyu, a resident there, told the Associated Press he heard a "loud sound" after finishing evening prayer and heard another blast moments later. He said he counted at least 15 bodies.
Another resident Mark Lipdo told AP the first explosion went off at a bus stop near a university. The second bomb detonated near a motor park, he said.
On Wednesday, a suicide bombing in the northeast Nigerian town of Biu killed about 19 people and injured 17. The bodies and remains of about 20 people were brought to the hospital in the town in Borno state after the attack, said Nasiru Buhari, a member of the Civilian Joint Task Force, formed by residents to fight against Boko Haram.
The suicide bomber may have been heading toward Biu market, but could not get past security points set up by the Civilian JTF, witnesses said.
A security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not permitted to speak to the press, confirmed the bombing.
On Thursday, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan made an unannounced visit to Mubi in the northeastern Nigerian state of Adamawa, and met with soldiers and the traditional ruler there. The Nigerian military reclaimed Mubi in November after Boko Haram fighters had seized it in October.
The President's visit to the former Boko Haram stronghold comes a day after the Nigerian army chief visited Baga, another town that was previously overtaken by Boko Haram.
Lt. Gen. Kenneth Minima later told journalists that residents displaced by Boko Haram should be able to return to vote in the March 28 presidential election.
President Jonathan is in the midst of a close re-election bid, running against ex-military ruler Muhammadu Buhari.
Nigerian defense officials have announced recent victories in the fight against the insurgents, claiming to have recaptured towns across the embattled northeast, where Boko Haram's insurgency has displaced an estimated 1.6 million.
The United States Senate this week voted unanimously to condemn attacks perpetrated by Boko Haram against innocent civilians, according to a statement. It also called on Nigeria's government to ensure that upcoming national elections are safe, credible, and transparent.
Umar reported from Maiduguri, Nigeria. Ibrahim Abdulaziz in Yola, Nigeria contributed to this report.