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Bomb attacks near Nigeria's Abuja leave several dead: officials

Two bomb blasts have hit outlying suburbs of the Nigerian capital, Abuja, causing a number of casualties. Officials say they suspect the Islamist group Boko Haram of having carried out the attack.

The simultaneous explosions occurred late Friday evening, local time, in the towns of Nyanya and Kuje on the outskirts of Abuja, an official from Nigeria's National Emergency Management Agency said in a statement.

The blasts "have resulted in a number of deaths and injuries," agency spokesman Ezekiel Manzo said, adding that they seemed to involve "the same kind of explosives used in the insurgency" by Islamist militant group Boko Haram in the country's northeast.

The bus station in Nyanya, where one of Friday's blasts occurred,

was hit twice last year in attacks claimed by the Islamists.

The first, in April, killed at least 75 people and the second at least 16.

Long-running insurgency

Abuja has not seen any such attacks since June 25 last year, when a blast at a popular shopping center in the middle of the city claimed 22 lives. That attack was also claimed by Boko Haram, which has been waging a six-year rebellion that has left nearly 20,000 people dead and displaced at least 2.5 million,

many of them children,

creating a humanitarian crisis.

Most of the group's attacks are carried out in the northeast, where it is based, but it has occasionally struck in other towns.

Nigerian soldiers

Nigeria's army is fighting Boko Haram in several regions

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari

took office earlier this year

pledging to wipe out the group, but Boko Haram has succeeded in killing at least 1,000 people since then.

Continued atrocities

Friday's attacks came a day after four suicide bombers blew themselves up in the capital of the northeastern state of Borno, Maiduguri, killing at least 11 people. At least five villagers were said to have been shot dead by suspected Boko Haram militants in the neighboring state of Adamawa.

On Thursday, the Nigerian military also accused Boko Haram of poisoning water sources in its heartland, saying, however, that only cattle were thought to have died.

tj/rc (AFP, AP)

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