Multiple explosions blasted a Christian quarter of Kano, Nigeria late Monday night after an attack by Islamist group Boko Haram killed 24 people, USA Today reported.

Lt. Ikedichi Iweha, a military spokesperson from the region, told reporters other civilians suffered injuries as well. A spokesperson for the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital claimed they were treating at least nine people for injuries.

The attack happened in a popular outdoor area full of bars, snooker tables, and table tennis just after 9 p.m. According to the News Agency of Nigeria, witness Kolade Ad said the first explosion came from a parked Mercedes-Benz. The explosions were then followed by gunshots.

Iweha also said this was not the work of a suicide bomber and therefore "could have been avoided" if citizens had paid more attention to suspicious packages or activity.

"Boko Haram" means "western education is a sin" in the Hausa language, primarily spoken in Nigeria. The group is responsible for carrying out several attacks since 2009, specifically in the Muslim north, in their fight to create an Islamic state in Africa's largest oil producer.

In 2010, suicide bombers drove an explosive-filled car into the lobby of the United Nations headquarters in the capital city of Abuja.

Nigeria is split between a Christian south and Muslim north and is no stranger to religious tension. About one year ago, Islamist militants allegedly attempted to attack a Mosque in Kano but were halted by police, although the militants killed five civilians during their attempt.

Earlier in May, Nigerian President Goodluck Johnathan established emergency rule in the states of Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa to control Islamist militants who he claimed were starting to take over parts of Borno. Militants have been attacking Muslim political and religious leaders who speak against their extreme form of Islam and eventually began targeting schools, killing teachers and students.