BAUCHI, Nigeria (AP) — Two attacks in Nigeria's north killed more than a dozen people, an official and resident said Thursday, as the death toll from twin blasts that targeted a prominent politician and sheik on Wednesday rose.
Five more victims from the bombs in Nigeria's north city of Kaduna died overnight, bringing the death toll to at least 44, according to Kaduna State Commissioner for Information Affairs Ben Bako. Former military leader Muhammadu Buhari and Sheik Dahiru Bauchi were the intended targets of the blasts, but both escaped unharmed. Witnesses say dozens more people died than the government reported.
The bombings were one of four attacks in the past two days, killing a total of 57 people. No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks but Boko Haram militants are widely blamed. Boko Haram has killed more than 2,000 people this year alone in an escalating insurgency, according to Human Rights Watch.
At a bus station in Kano Thursday, one person was killed and eight others injured after a bomb exploded out of a discarded refrigerator, according to Kano State Police Commissioner Aderenle Shinaba.
"The investigation into the terrorism is ongoing," he said.
In Borno state, one of three northeastern states that have been under emergency rule for more than a year, 12 people were killed, including a local traditional leader when gunmen dressed as soldiers raided a farming village around midnight Wednesday night, said resident Idrisa Garubula. The traditional leader Alhaji Ibrahim Dawi was shot in the head and died on the way to the hospital.
The attack in Borno was in Biu a district bordering Damboa, where an onslaught of attacks decimated villages and killed more than 100 people last weekend. Residents said Boko Haram militants overran some areas, hoisting their flags over villages. The Nigerian military denies this claim, saying it has not conceded "one inch" of territory to Boko Haram.
Biu residents fear the chaos is spreading.
"Federal government should do something urgently before the terrorists take over the area," said Garubula, a farmer from the Garubula village in Biu, "The terrorists have succeeded in sending away the people of Damboa and other communities."
Bui and Damboa also neighbor Chibok, where Boko Haram kidnapped more than 200 schoolgirls in April. Despite national and international outrage over the abduction, the girls remain in captivity.
Shuaibu reported from Kano. Associated Press Godwin Attah Isenyo in Kaduna, Nigeria contributed to this report.