Al-Jazeera is reporting that a series of bomb blasts and gun battles have killed at 60 people in the northeastern-Nigerian town of Damaturu.
The Nigerian group Boko Haram, which wants strict implementation of Islamic law across the nation of 160 million people, has claimed responsibility for the attacks, Al-Jazeera reports. The group's name means "Western education is sacrilege."
Al Jazeera's Yvonne Ndege, reporting from Abuja, said that witnesses reported scenes of "carnage" and "chaos" after several bombs and running gun battles surged on the streets of the town late on Friday and overnight. "Eyewitnesses say that there is carnage and chaos on the streets … they also say that they have seen up to 60 bodies in a mortuary," she said.
The Red Cross said the death toll stood at 63. But an official of the country's road safety agency who took part in the collection of bodies, told the AFP news agency that 150 people had been killed.
An AFP reporter counted 97 bodies in a hospital mortuary in northeastern Nigeria on Saturday. The remaining bodies had reportedly been already collected for burial.
"It is difficult to verify these reports especially since this is a very remote part of the country," Ndege said. The violence follows a series of attacks reported in the neighbouring cities of Maiduguri and Potiskum on Friday afternoon.
The United Nation Security Council has condemned the actions of Boko Haram and reiterated that "terrorism in all its forms and manifestations is criminal and unjustifiable." We agree. No objective warrants this type of violence.
Read more at Al-Jazeera.
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