ABUJA (Reuters) - At least 15 people were killed and 41 injured in two suicide bomb attacks late on Friday on the outskirts of Nigeria’s capital Abuja, officials said.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility. But the use of suicide bombers bears the hallmark of Boko Haram militants, who have been trying to carve out an Islamist state in northeast Nigeria since 2009, killing thousands and displacing 2.1 million people.
They were the first bomb attacks in the capital since a blast at a bus station killed at least 71 people in April 2014. Authorities blamed Boko Haram for that attack.
In Friday’s attacks, one of the bombs went off near a police station in the satellite town of Kuje, not far from the capital’s airport.
The second blast occurred in a crowded area in the suburb of Nyanya, not far from the site of the April 2014 attack.
“Preliminary investigations revealed the bomb blasts were carried out by two suicide bombers, a male and a female,” Abuja police said in a statement.
Attacks by the Boko Haram Islamist group have lately been concentrated in Nigeria’s northeastern Borno state, the birthplace of the insurgency, and northern parts of neighboring Adamawa state.
Since losing most of the territory it took over earlier this year, the militant group has reverted to hitting soft targets such as markets, bus stations and places of worship as well as hit-and-run attacks on villages, mainly in Borno state.
Reporting by Julia Payne, Felix Onuah and Camillus Eboh; Editing by Gareth Jones