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#NigeriaAttacks: Manhunt launched for more suspects

Officials are hunting for those behind multiple bomb blasts which killed almost 50 people.

FILE: Nigerian authorities are hunting for those behind multiple bomb blasts which killed almost 50 people. Picture: AFP.

KANO - A massive manhunt is underway in Nigeria for more suspects behind this week's bomb blasts in which almost 50 people were killed.

This comes a day after Boko Haram was named the world's deadliest terror group.

At least 15 people were killed and more than 100 wounded yesterday in the northern town of Kano after two suicide bombers blew themselves up outside a busy market.

The attacks bear the hallmarks of Boko Haram, suggesting that the militant Islamist group, which has killed thousands over the last six years in its bid to create a state adhering to strict Sharia or Islamic law in the northeast, is stepping up its operations.

"Over 100 persons injured and 14 others lost their lives in today's market bomb blast in Kano," said Sani Datti, a spokesman for the National Emergency Management Agency (Nema).

Suspected members of Boko Haram have killed more than 1,000 people since President Muhammadu Buhari took office in May.

"President Buhari reassures Nigerians that his administration is very much determined to wipe out Boko Haram in Nigeria and bring all perpetrators of this heinous crime against humanity to justice," said presidency spokesman Garba Shehu.

He said Buhari urged vigilance to help ward off suicide terror attacks on "soft targets", adding that Nigeria's "reinvigorated, well-equipped and well-motivated armed forces and security agencies" would overcome Boko Haram very soon.

These attacks came less than a day after 34 people were killed and 80 wounded in an explosion at a market in the northeastern city of Yola late Tuesday.

Earlier, the Global Terrorism Index said the Boko Haram terror group was responsible for 6,644 deaths last year, a one-year increase of 317 percent.

ATTACKS CONDEMNED

In Washington, the State Department condemned "horrific" bombings in the northern towns of Yola and Kano in recent days, and said the United States was committed to working with Nigeria and its neighbors to defeat Boko Haram.

"We denounce the callous terrorist acts," spokesman John Kirby said, adding: "Those responsible for these crimes must be held accountable."

Since losing most of the territory they took over earlier this year to the Nigerian army, the militant group has focused attacks on markets, bus stations and places of worship, as well as hit-and-run attacks on villages.

Suspected Boko Haram militants have carried out attacks in neighboring Chad, Niger and Cameroon in recent weeks but until Tuesday had not struck northeastern Nigeria since late October.

Note: Additional reporting by Reuters