Two bombs killed at least 30 people in the central Nigerian city of Jos on Thursday, in the latest act of violence that is being blamed on terrorist group Boko Haram.
The explosions happened at around 6pm at a makeshift market near the bus station. A similar attack in the same city in May left 118 dead.
Muhammed Wase, a Jos resident, said that young locals squared up to security officials in protest at their lack of action and failure to protect the community, as reported by the Guardian. "In the time it took for the police and military to reach the blast site, we had already evacuated two bodies. They didn't help us at all when they arrived. We ordinary people on the streets are dying and nobody in government is interested," Wase said.
Pam Ayuba, a spokesman for the Plateau state governor Jonah Jang, told AFPthat the attacks were most likely carried out by Boko Haram. "It's an extension of the terrorist acts that have been penetrating all states and cities."
A police spokesperson said that female suicide bombers were responsible for the blasts. The archbishop of Jos, Ben Kwashi, told theBBCthat most of the victims were poor and vulnerable: "Government must step up, to show that it cares about the weak, about the poor, about those who have no means at all in the society."
The bomb in Jos yesterday will not affect our faith nor will it stop our joyful celebration of salvation to mankind!
— Benjamin A. Kwashi (@benkwashi)December 12, 2014
Nigeria has been subject to frequent attacks by the Islamic militant group Boko Haram, which has said it hopes to set up a caliphate in the north of the country. Last month, the group killed more people per attack than any other terrorist organization and has increasingly begun using young female suicide bombers.
On Wednesday, Nigerian Police Inspector-General IGP Suleiman Abba, warned citizens that "in light of the Yuletide season and emerging security challenges in parts of the country, [they must be] vigilant while receiving gifts from unknown persons that may pose as friends during the season, to avoid explosive-laden hampers as gifts."
Abba also cautioned against the use of fireworks while celebrating, as "they could cause distraction that may further heighten fear of insecurity."
Nigeria is just eight weeks away from elections, and President Goodluck Jonathan is keen to maintain the impression that the government is gaining ground against the militants. The vote looks likely to be close, with one of Jonathan's main opponents a former military leader, 71-year-old Muhammadu Buhari.
Buhari is a Muslim from the north of Nigeria who seized power in 1983, but was removed in a coup just two years later. His supporters believe that he would be better at controlling the Boko Haram threat than Jonathan.
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