There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the twin car bombs, but they bore the hallmarks of Boko Haram.
Two car bombs exploded at a bustling bus terminal and market in Nigeria’s central city of Jos on Tuesday, killing at least 46 people and wounding dozens.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the twin car bombs, but they bore the hallmarks of Boko Haram, the Islamic extremist group that abducted nearly 300 schoolgirls last month.
The second blast came half an hour after the first, killing some of the rescue workers who had rushed to the scene, which was obscured by billows of black smoke.
Dozens of bodies and body parts were covered in grain that had been loaded in the second car bomb, witnesses said. A Terminus Market official said he helped remove 50 casualties, most of them dead. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not allowed to give information to reporters.
“It’s horrifying, terrible,” said Mark Lipdo of the Stefanos Foundation, a Christian charity based in Jos, who could smell burning human flesh.
At least 46 people were killed and dozens wounded, according to Superintendent Felicia Anslem Ali, police spokeswoman for Plateau state.
Photographs showed a woman’s body, her legs blown off and her hand reaching out of the flames, on the edge of an inferno consuming other bodies. Another woman, unconscious and wrapped in a brightly coloured cloth, was being carried away in a wheelbarrow on a road strewn with glass shards.
Tensions have been rising between Christians and Muslims in Jos, the capital of Plateau state in Nigeria’s Middle Belt region that divides the country into the predominantly Muslim north and Christian south. It is a flashpoint for religious violence.
Boko Haram has claimed other recent bomb attacks, including two separate bomb blasts in April that killed more than 120 people and wounded more than 200 in Abuja, the nation’s capital. One bomb went off at a busy bus station.
A suicide car bomber killed 25 people in northern Kano city on Monday. Police there detonated a second car bomb Monday. They said both would have killed many people but the first exploded before it reached its target of restaurants and bars in the Christian quarter of the Muslim city.
Mr. Lipdo said at least one of Tuesday’s blasts could have been averted if authorities had acted in time. He said a white van that held the first bomb was parked for hours in the market place, raising suspicions of vendors and others who reported it to the authorities, but nothing was done.
President Goodluck Jonathan extended sympathies to affected families and said in a statement that he “assures all Nigerians that the government remains fully committed to winning the war against terror.”
“This administration will not be cowed by the atrocities of enemies of human progress and civilisation,” the statement said.