At least 118 people have been killed in a car bomb attack in the central Nigerian city of Jos, and the country’s relief agency has warned the death toll could rise further.
“The exact figure of the dead bodies recovered as of now is 118,” Mohammed Abdulsalam, coordinator for the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in the city, told AFP.
He added that “more bodies may be in the debris” of buildings which collapsed due to the intensity of the blasts.
The first blast exploded from within a truck at roughly 3pm local time on Tuesday with rescue teams rushing to the city’s New Abuja Market, the military said.
The second bomb came from a minibus some 20 minutes later and witnesses reported that many of the emergency workers were caught up in the blast.
Boko Haram Islamists are widely believed to have active cells in Jos and have attacked the city before, but the area has not been heavily affected by the extremist uprising.
Plateau state, which falls on the dividing line between Nigeria’s mainly Christian South and mostly Muslim north, has however seen waves of sectarian violence that has killed thousands over the last decade.
“What we are doing now is (trying) to evacuate the dead bodies… many of them are burnt beyond recognition,” Abdulsalam said.