A bombing at a new mosque in Yola, Nigeria, killed at least 27 people Friday, the National Emergency Management Agency told Agence France-Presse. Scores of others were wounded in the attack in the northeast Nigerian city.
The explosion occurred about 2 p.m. local time (9 a.m. EDT) at the Jambutu Juma'at mosque shortly after the imam had finished his inaugural sermon at the new mosque in the Jimeta area of Yola, the capital of Adamawa State.
"So far we have 27 dead and 96 injured," Sa'ad Bello, the National Emergency Management Agency's coordinator in Yola, told AFP.
Nigerian newspaper Premium Times reported that the Red Cross, along with authorities from the National Emergency Management Agency, had arrived at the scene to provide aid. A reporter for the paper described a grisly scene. “As I speak to you, dismembered bodies of several victims are being moved and the place [has] been cordoned off,” he said, according to the Premium Times.
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"This mosque was nearly built and this was the first prayers in it," said a rescue worker who asked to remain anonymous. "While worshippers had risen for the prayers to start after the sermon by the imam, there was a huge blast in the premises."
The Yola blast comes just hours after a suicide bombing killed at least 28 people Friday at a mosque in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state. That explosion happened at about 5 a.m. local time in an area that had previously been targeted by militants from the terrorist group Boko Haram, according to an AFP report.
It was immediately unclear if the Yola mosque attack was a suicide bombing. Yola had previously been seen as a relative haven from the Boko Haram insurgency that has torn through Nigeria for the last six years. But a bombing last month ratcheted up tensions, after killing seven refugees at a camp for displaced people who fled to the city in search of safety.