From BBC News
A series of bomb attacks in Nigeria, including two on Christmas Day church services, have left almost 40 people dead and many injured.
The Islamist group Boko Haram said it carried out the attacks, including one on St Theresa's Church in Madalla, near the capital Abuja, that killed 35.
A second explosion shortly after hit a church in the central city of Jos. A policeman died during gunfire.
Three attacks in northern Yobe state left four people dead. Two hit the town of Damaturu, and a third struck Gadaka. Yobe state has been the epicentre of violence between security forces and Boko Haram militants.
President Goodluck Jonathan, who is a Christian, said the attacks were an "unwarranted affront on our collective safety and freedom".
The White House condemned what it described as "senseless violence" and pledged to assist Nigeria in bringing those responsible to justice.
Boko Haram - whose name means "Western education is forbidden" - often targets security forces and state institutions. It has been locked in an increasingly bloody struggle with the Nigerian authorities since it was founded in 2002.
There were indications these attacks were being planned. In the past week, bombs that were being prepared exploded prematurely in Yobe and Kaduna states.
Then the police raided a suspected Boko Haram hideout in Yobe. Some 60 people were killed in the ensuing gunbattle.
Sunday's bomb attacks appear part of a planned offensive by the militants, who are calling for a strict Islamic state.
The group carried out an August 2011 suicide attack on the UN headquarters in Abuja, in which more than 20 people were killed.
Nearly 70 people have died this week in fighting between Nigerian forces and Boko Haram gunmen in the country's north-east.
National Emergency Management Agency (Nema) spokesman Yushau Shuaibu told the BBC that the latest Abuja explosion had happened in the street outside the church.
He said the church - which can hold up to 1,000 people - had been badly affected by the blast.
Witnesses said windows of nearby houses had been shattered by the explosion.
Officials at the local hospital said the condition of many of the injured was serious, and they were seeking help from bigger medical facilities.
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