YOLA, Nigeria (AP) — Two suicide bombers struck at city mosques in northeast Nigeria on Friday, killing at least 42 people and wounding more than 100, an official and witnesses said.
The massive blast in Yola, the capital of Adamawa state, killed 27 people and wounded 96 during Friday afternoon prayers that were crowded with officials helping to inaugurate a new mosque, said Saad Bello of the National Emergency Management Agency.
Radio stations broadcast urgent appeals for blood donations. "We call on individuals to come and donate blood to save lives," Bello said.
Earlier Friday, another suicide bomber killed 15 people before dawn in an explosion at a mosque in Maiduguri, the biggest city in the northeast and birthplace of the Boko Haram Islamic extremist group, a self-defense fighter who helped remove the bodies told The Associated Press. He spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals.
The fighter said there appeared to be only one suicide bomber although "we all heard two explosions" around 5 a.m. in a mosque in the Jiddari Polo area of Maiduguri.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for either suicide bombing.
Friday's attacks, however, were the latest in a string of assaults blamed on Boko Haram Islamic extremists who have been indiscriminately killing Christians and Muslims they accuse of not following their radical version of Shariah law.
Boko Haram has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group and wants to recreate an Islamic caliphate over a swath of West Africa that sprawls across Nigeria's border into neighboring Chad, Cameroon and Niger.
Suicide bombers in all four countries have killed hundreds in recent months. The 6-year-old uprising has left an estimated 20,000 people dead and forced 2.3 million from their homes.
A promised offensive by a multinational army of troops from Nigeria and its neighbors has been delayed for months without explanation.
Umar reported from Maiduguri, Nigeria.