Two explosions targeted a mobile phone market in the northern Nigerian city of Kano on Wednesday, killing at least 15 people and injuring more than 100 others, emergency officials said.
The attack came less than 24 hours after another bomb killed at least 34 people and injured 80 others in Yola, a northeastern city where many refugees from Nigeria’s uprising reside.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for any of the attacks, but suspicion fell on the armed group Boko Haram, whose six-year insurgency has killed an estimated 20,000 people and forced 2.3 million to flee their homes.
Boko Haram on Wednesday was named the world's most deadly extremist group in the Global Terrorism Index, published by the Institute for Economics and Peace. Deaths attributed to Boko Haram increased by 317 percent in 2014 to 6,644 compared to 6,073 blamed on the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Boko Haram pledged allegiance to ISIL in March and calls itself that group's West Africa Province.
Wednesday's explosions came as President Muhammadu Buhari pressed his campaign against Nigeria's endemic corruption, blamed for hampering the fight against the insurgents. Buhari accused his predecessor's national security adviser of stealing billions of dollars meant to buy weapons to fight Boko Haram, when soldiers had just a few bullets and the armed group was rampaging across northeast Nigeria.
Critics have long blamed corruption for the military's failures, asking how the insurgents can be better armed than Nigerian soldiers despite an annual defense budget of more than $5 billion, supplemented last year by a loan of $1 billion.
Buhari on Wednesday ordered the arrests of several former high-ranking officials allegedly linked to fraudulent and fictitious arms contracts totaling $5.4 billion, one of his advisers, Femi Adesina, said in a statement.
“Thousands of needless Nigerian deaths would have been avoided” if the money had been properly spent, Adesina said.
Al Jazeera and Associated Press