Nigerian city of Jos rocked by twin blasts

Heavy casualties are feared following two loud explosions near a crowded market in the volatile central Nigerian city of Jos.

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The cause of the blasts has not been confirmed. Jos has seen several deadly clashes between Christian and Muslim groups in recent years.

Islamist group Boko Haram has also previously targeted the area.

A suicide attack in the northern city of Kano on Monday killed four people.

Abducted girls 

A regional official confirmed there had been two blasts in Jos, the capital of Plateau state, but told Agence France-Presse news agency that he did not have any casualty figures yet.

A military spokesman told AFP one bomb had been placed in a truck and another in a minibus, but this has not been independently confirmed.

Jos lies on the fault-line which divides Nigeria's largely Muslim north from its mainly Christian south.

The Nigerian government is currently trying to trace more than 200 girls captured by Boko Haram in April from a boarding school in the north-eastern town of Chibok.

The case has shocked the world and prompted foreign powers to send military advisers to assist Nigeria's army tackle the insurgency.

On Tuesday, parliament approved a six-month extension of a state of emergency in three north-eastern states - Adamawa, Borno and Yobe.

More than 1,000 people have been killed in Boko Haram attacks this year but the government says it has pushed the militants back into their strongholds in Borno.

Boko Haram is fighting to overthrow the government and create an Islamic state.

Nigeria's violence is not confined to the north.

Earlier this month a car bomb in the capital Abuja killed at least 19 people and injured 60 more.

The explosion happened close to a bus station where at least 70 people died in a bomb blast on 14 April.

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