Abuja: Two bomb blasts have ripped through the outskirts of Nigeria's capital Abuja, including one target hit twice before by Boko Haram, after separate strikes in the northeast that killed at least 21.
Nigeria's National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) warned of casualties from the simultaneous explosions in Kuje and Nyanya and likened the explosives used to those in areas worst-hit by the six-year insurgency.
"It was not an accidental explosion... Definitely it was a bomb," NEMA spoksman Manzo Ezekiel told AFP.
"At this time we can only confirm the explosions. Our officers are on the ground. There are a number of dead but we can't say anything about numbers now."
The attacks yesterday came a day after at least 10 people were killed when four suicide bombers blew themselves up in the Borno state capital, Maiduguri, and 11 villagers died in neighbouring Adamawa state.
The bombings underscored the persistent threat posed by the Islamist militants, despite claims of military successes in recent weeks in driving them out of captured territory, arrests and mass surrenders.
An AFP tally puts the death toll at more than 1,260 since President Muhammadu Buhari took office on May 29.
The explosions happened near a police station in Kuje and at a bus stop in Nyanya at about 10:30 pm (local time).
Kuje, near Abuja's airport, is some 40 kilometres west of the city centre and seat of government. Its prison is reportedly holding dozens of Boko Haram prisoners captured by troops.
The same bus station in Nyanya, to the east, was hit twice last year. The first attack, on April 14 2014, left at least 75 dead and was claimed by the Islamists; the second, on May 1, left at least 16 dead.
Ezekiel said the latest blasts happened almost simultaneously and appeared to use "the same kind of explosives used in the insurgency" in Nigeria's northeast.
Abuja was last attacked on June 25 last year, when 22 people were killed in a blast at a popular shopping centre in the heart of the capital.
Boko Haram later claimed the attack and a separate strike later that day in the Apapa port district of the financial capital, Lagos, in the southwest.