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Up to 100 Dead in Maiduguri Blasts

by VOA News September 21, 2015

As many as 100 people were killed in northern Nigeria in a series of coordinated explosions suspected to be the work of Boko Haram militants late Sunday.

Witnesses say four blasts detonated within 25 minutes and hit crowded parts of Maiduguri city. The targets included a mosque, a market, and a viewing center where people were watching a football (soccer) match.

A military official tells VOA's Hausa Service that another 95 people were injured.

Police put the death toll at 54, however other officials and witnesses say more than 100 people were killed.

Police officials said the blasts were caused by bombs, but witnesses say the mosque blast may have been set off by a suicide bomber.

There was no claim of responsibility. However, Boko Haram frequently attacks markets, mosques and other sites where large crowds gather.

On Sunday, Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau dismissed the government's statement it will crush Boko Haram within three months.

Shekau also denied government claims that he is dead, saying, 'I am alive, this is my voice, more audible than before.' He also affirmed Boko Haram's allegiance to the Islamic State militant group.

Boko Haram has killed more than 10,000 Nigerians since 2009, as part of a campaign to impose Islamic rule on northern Nigeria.

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