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Deadly attacks rock Nigeria's northern city of Kano

LAGOS, Nigeria – A series of bomb blasts struck the northern Nigerian city of Kano on Friday, killing at least seven people, witnesses reported.

Local immigration service spokesman Mohammed Kanoma told The Associated Press at least three officials and an unknown number of civilians died in one attack at a passport office.

There were four reported attacks, but no confirmation on the number of fatalities. 

Witnesses reported seeing a number of bodies, including three police officers and a local journalist, after one bomb blast at a regional police headquarters.

The BBC's Yusuf Yakasai in Kano told the British television station there was panic in the city as plumes of smoke rose into the sky.

At least three police departments within the city were targeted, according to the BBC.

The Islamist sect Boko Haram has claimed responsibility.

Boko Haram has carried out increasingly sophisticated and bloody attacks in its campaign to impose Shariah law across Nigeria, a multiethnic nation of more than 160 million people.

Meanwhiole, gunmen kidnapped an American working for Marubeni Corp. in Nigeria's oil-rich Niger Delta region on Friday, killing his driver and demanding a 50 million naira ($310,300) ransom, a security source said.

The U.S. embassy confirmed that one of its citizens had been abducted.

"A foreign national was kidnapped this morning in Warri by gunmen who trailed him from Sapele," Charles Muka, spokesman for the Delta Police Command, told Reuters.

"They killed his police escort and forcefully took him away from the car. He was going to the bank when the attack occurred," he said.
A security source said that the hostage was an American working for Japanese conglomerate Marubeni, but gave no further details. 

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

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