POTISKUM, Nigeria — Teenage suicide bombers, suspected to be Boko Haram extremists, killed at least 24 people in separate blasts Tuesday at crowded bus stations in two northern Nigerian cities 200 miles apart.
In an apparently unrelated development, an American missionary has been kidnapped from a school in central Kogi state. The Rev. Phyllis Sortor was taken away Monday by several abductors, according to a statement on the website of the First Methodist Church in Seattle. Kidnappings for ransom are common in Nigeria, and many victims are returned unharmed.
In the northeastern town of Potiskum, a young man forced his way onto a bus and detonated explosives that killed 12 people and injured 20, according to the bus driver and hospital records.
Hours later, two young men were blamed for explosions that ripped through a bus station in northern Kano city, killing at least 12 people and injuring many more, according to state police commissioner Ibrahim Idris. Witnesses said the bombers appeared to be 17 or 18 years old.
The explosions triggered fires that destroyed two buses and a car, Idris said.
Firefighters rushed to the scene of twisted metal, wailing people and billowing smoke. Ambulances with sirens blaring carried bodies and the wounded to the hospitals in Kano, Nigeria’s second largest city.