3 blasts kill 118 in central Nigeria

At least 118 people were killed Tuesday in blasts in the central Nigerian city of Jos, an official said, warning the toll could still climb higher.

"The death toll stands at 118. This is the number of victims recovered from the scene of the explosions, but we are still searching through the smoldering debris for more bodies," said Mohammed Abdulsalam, coordinator for the National Emergency Management Agency in the city.

"The figure may rise when the search is over," Abdulsalam said.

Earlier, Plateau State Commissioner Chris Olakpe described the blasts as "terrorist activities," but refused to speculate on who might be responsible.

In a statement, President Goodluck Jonathan condemned the bombings as a "tragic assault on human freedom" and described those behind them as "cruel and evil."

"President Jonathan assures all Nigerians that government remains fully committed to winning the war against terror, and this administration will not be cowed by the atrocities of enemies of human progress and civilization," the statement said, adding that Nigeria was committed to implementing anti-terrorism measures and resolutions put forth at a recent summit in Paris.

When CNN tried to speak with a nurse at a local hospital by phone, she was unable to hear because of victims' cries and screams.

Late Sunday, a bomb in the northern Nigerian city of Kano killed at least four people, according to local police.

The blast occurred at a busy intersection in a predominantly Christian area of the city and left several cars burning, Kano police spokesman Rabilu Ringim said. It was not immediately clear who was responsible for the attack, the spokesman said.

Terrorism in Nigeria has been in the spotlight recently since more than 200 schoolgirls were kidnapped by the militant group Boko Haram.

The terror group abducted 276 girls on April 14 from a boarding school in Chibok in northeastern Nigeria. Dozens escaped, but more than 200 girls are still missing.

In his statement Tuesday, Jonathan reaffirmed his government's commitment to take "every necessary measure" to find the girls and cooperate with other countries in the region to combat the "Boko Haram menace."

The president also said Nigeria was determined to ensure safety and security in schools in Borno state and other parts of the country and to rebuild the school in Chibok.

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