MAIDUGURI/YOLA, Nigeria (Reuters) - At least 37 people were killed and 107 wounded on Friday in two bomb attacks at mosques in Nigeria’s restive northeast, where Boko Haram has been trying to carve out an Islamic state, officials and medics said.
No one claimed responsibility but the attacks bore the hallmarks of the militant group, which has killed thousands and displaced 2.1 million people in the remote northeast of Africa’s most populous nation.
A bomb went off during Friday prayers at a packed mosque in a suburb of Yola, capital of Adamawa state, killing 27 people, Alhaji Saad Bello, state coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), told Reuters.
“Ninety-six people are now receiving treatment in the two hospitals in Yola here,” he said. “I cannot really say whether it was a suicide bomber or not.”
Alhaji Abubakar Jimeta, a survivor, said the mosque had attracted many worshippers for Friday prayers because it had only been built recently. He said the bomb had gone off in a parking lot in front of the mosque.
Separately, a suicide bombing during dawn prayers at a mosque in Maiduguri, capital of Borno state, notrh of Yola, killed at least 10 people, a hospital source said. Another medic said 11 people had been wounded.
Borno is the birthplace of the Boko Haram insurgency and has been the focus of attacks by suspected members of the militant Islamist group that have killed around 1,000 people since President Muhammadu Buhari took office in May.
Since losing most of the territory it took over earlier this year to the Nigerian army, Boko Haram has reverted to hitting soft targets such as markets, bus stations and places of worship, as well as hit-and-run attacks on villages, mainly in Borno.