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Many Feared Dead in Nigeria Mosque Attack


People inspect a damaged mosque following an explosion in Maiduguri, Nigeria, Oct. 23, 2015. Boko Haram is suspected to be behind bombing.

Many people are feared dead after an explosion that ripped through a newly built mosque in northeastern Nigeria Friday.

The blast in the city of Yola, capital of Adamawa state, came just hours after a suicide bombing at a mosque in Maiduguri killed at least 18 and wounded 20 others.

Witnesses to the Yola blast said it happened as worshippers were getting ready for Friday afternoon prayers. Nigerian newspapers released photos showing flames and black smoke rising from the site of the blast.

Yola and Maiduguri, Nigeria
Yola and Maiduguri, Nigeria

No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks, but suspicion fell on militant group Boko Haram, which has carried out similar bombings in the past.

Last Friday, at least three suicide bombers blew themselves up on the outskirts of Maiduguri, killing at least four people just hours after two suicide attacks inside a mosque in the capital where 37 people died.

Boko Haram

Boko Haram

  • Based in the northeastern city of Maiduguri
  • Self-proclaimed leader is Abubakar Shekau
  • Began in 2002 as a nonviolent Islamist splinter group
  • Launched uprising in 2009
  • Has killed tens of thousands since 2010
  • Boko Haram translates to "Western education is sinful"
  • Wants Nigeria to adopt strict Islamic law

Nigerian national emergency officials say the blasts in the mosques were timed so that the second one killed many people rushing to offer help after the first blast.

The attacks have continued despite President Muhammadu Buhari's vows to wipe out the Islamic extremist group.

Rights group Amnesty International said this month that Boko Haram has killed at least 1,600 civilians since the start of June, and more than 3,500 civilians overall during 2015.