Blasts rock 2 northern Nigerian cities

2012-12-03 12:49

Kano - Two heavy explosions on Monday rocked two different northern Nigerian cities repeatedly hit by deadly attacks blamed on Islamist extremist group Boko Haram, residents said.

It was not yet clear if there were any deaths linked to the explosions in Kano, the largest city in Nigeria's north, and Maiduguri, the northeastern city at the heart of Boko Haram's insurgency.

A blast outside a mosque near Kano's main textile market went off around 8:30 am in an area where traffic police were stationed, residents said. The area was later cordoned off by troops and policemen, an AFP reporter saw.

"We just heard a loud explosion followed by billows of smoke and we realised that the traffic police that rest near the mosque and take turns in manning the traffic were the target," said a resident who lives in the area.

Residents of Maiduguri reported a huge explosion but did not know details.

"There was a very heavy explosion this morning that shook the entire city," a resident said.

Violence linked to Boko Haram's insurgency has left some 3 000 people dead since 2009, including killings by the security forces.