JOS, Nigeria (Reuters) - Two blasts hit the central Nigerian city of Jos on Sunday evening, one at a restaurant and another targeting a Muslim cleric who has disowned Islamist militant group Boko Haram, several witnesses said.
Plateau State police spokesman Emmanuel Abuh confirmed there had been two attacks in Jos but had no further details immediately.
“I saw people running out crying, some with bloodstains,” said resident Bashir Abdullahi, describing the scene after he said a suicide bomber ran into the crowded restaurant. “I believe many lives were lost.”
The second attack targeted cleric Sani Yahaya Jingir as he was preaching, witnesses said. Gunmen started shooting sporadically and then there was a loud blast, they said.
“We saw two or three vehicles coming from different directions and we started hearing gunshots from all angles and then a very loud bang, like a bomb being thrown into the mosque,” said witness Abubakar Shehu.
There was no official word on casualties from the two attacks. A Reuters witness at a hospital in Jos said 16 bodies had been brought in.
A suicide bomber killed six people at a church in northeast Nigeria earlier on Sunday after a week in which suspected Boko Haram insurgents killed more than 200 people.
Reporting by Buhari Bello; Additional reporting by Ardo Abdallah in Bauchi and Issac Abrak in Abuja; Editing by David Clarke and and Peter Cooney