“I think it will be fair to say dozens of people lost their lives in these orgies of violence, while scores that were injured were taken to hospitals,” National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) spokesman Yushau Shuaib said.
The bombs rocked five churches in the neighbouring cities of Zaria and Kaduna and in the southern towns of Nassarawa and Barnawa in Kaduna state.
Kaduna state authorities immediately imposed a 24-hour curfew.
At least 10 people were killed in retaliatory rioting when Muslims were targeted by Christian youths angered by the attacks.
An AFP reporter said he saw 10 bodies being taken to mortuaries after street clashes. A military officer who declined to be named put the number of people killed in the rioting at 16.
Witnesses said dozens of people were killed in the church bombings.
“I counted 12 bodies at the Christ the King Catholic Church and three at ECWA Church in Zaria,” a local reporter with the state-run Radio Nigeria said.
He said around 70 people were injured in the bomb blasts in the city.
The attacks were the latest targeting churches in Africa’s most populous country, whose population od 160 million is almost evenly divided by Christians and Muslims.
No group has claimed responsibility for yesterday’s incidents. The Islamist Boko Haram group has been blamed for scores of deadly attacks in the country in recent months.