Multiple explosions have rocked Nigeria's restive Muslim north and a city near the capital following the inauguration of the country's southern Christian president, officials said.
The most powerful of the blasts tore through a bar in a military barracks in the northern city of Bauchi on Sunday, killing 15 people just hours after the swearing-in ceremony, said an official who participated in the rescue efforts.
Bauchi state police chief Mohammed Indabawa said Sunday's blast in the city of Bauchi hit an outdoor bar at about 8pm, just hours after the inauguration of President Goodluck Jonathan in Nigeria's capital of Abuja.
Indabawa said 10 people were killed, but the official who helped emergency workers take victims to the hospital and to the mortuary said 15 people were killed and 35 injured.
An Associated Press writer who was about 1,300 feet from the Shadawanka Barracks when the blasts went off said he heard three consecutive loud noises at two-to five-minute intervals.
The multiple blasts illustrate the challenges facing the president. The southerner was sworn in Sunday for a full four-year term and is now faced with the task of uniting a country that saw deadly post-election violence despite what observers called the fairest vote in more than a decade.
A spokesman for the National Emergency Management Agency, Yushau Shuaib, said stringent security measures had been taken to prevent such attacks on inauguration day. "Telecommunications operators blocked service in Abuja and government took so many other measures to prevent this, but it is unfortunate that this still happened," he said. "The Agency moved in quickly, otherwise this would have been even worse."
One bomb went off Sunday at a beer garden in Zuba, near Nigeria's capital, killing two people and wounding at least 11, Shuaib said. Another explosion in the northern city of Zaria on Sunday also targeted a bar hours after the inauguration, police spokesman Aminu Lawal said. He said police were still looking into how many may have been wounded in that blast. And on Monday, two teenagers were injured after stepping on explosives in Zaria, Lawal said.
In the northeast city of Maiduguri, a bomb targeted on Monday an army patrol vehicle, Lt. Abubakar Abdullahi said, adding that there were no casualties and five arrests were made after the incident.
No one has claimed responsibility for any of the blasts.