Twin explosions hit Nigerian city

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Twin explosions rocked downtown Jos, in central Nigeria, on Thursday and killed about 20 people, witnesses said.

The blasts occurred as store owners were shutting their shops and Muslims were preparing for prayers Thursday evening.

Witnesses said one blast went off at an outdoor food stand and the other at a nearby marketplace in the center of the city. They spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals.

In May, twin car bombs in the Jos marketplace killed at least 130 people.

Those attacks were blamed on Islamic extremists from the Boko Haram group.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack but it bore all the signs of Boko Haram.

In northern Kano, Nigeria's second largest city, police said they detonated a bomb hidden in a handbag and separately arrested a young woman with explosives tied to her chest.

Boko Haram is blamed for a series of bombings that have killed hundreds of people in the past year in northern and central Nigeria. The extremist group is based in the northeast where it has taken over several towns and villages along the border with Cameroon and declared an Islamic caliphate.

Thousands of people have died and 1.2 million have been forced from their homes in the 5-year-old insurgency.