Deadly Bomb Hits Maiduguri

BOKO HARAMAt least 15 people have been killed in an explosion at a arket in Maiduguri, north-eastern Nigeria, witnesses say.

The explosives were reportedly hidden in a vehicle carrying charcoal.

No group has said it carried out the attack but Maiduguri is the epicentre of the violent campaign waged by militant group Boko Haram.

Earlier, the Nigerian army said it had broken up a Boko Haram cell linked to the abduction of 200 schoolgirls.

“A van loaded with charcoal and IED [improvised explosive device] exploded at Monday Market in Maiduguri this morning. The location has been cordoned,” the defence headquarters said on its Twitter account.

The vehicle exploded into a huge fireball, AFP news agency quotes a witness as saying.

At least 15 people were killed in the attack, it reports.

The BBC’s Habiba Adamu in the capital, Abuja, says that a resident who visited the scene counted five bodies while another resident said he saw bodies being loaded onto two trucks.

“I heard a very loud explosion right from my house and rushed to the place,” one resident, Babagana Hausari, told the BBC.

“When I got there I saw many people lying after they were hit by explosives,” he said.

A suspected suicide bomber carried out the blast, Reuters news agency reports.

Cars and taxis, which were unloading passengers and goods, were wrecked, it says.

“I saw police and troops picking out victims,” said Alakija Olatunde, a student who rushed to the scene.

On Monday night, Nigeria’s military said it had raided a Boko Haram intelligence unit thought to be linked to the abduction of the schoolgirls in April from Chibok town, also in the north-eastern Borno state.

The cell leader Babuji Ya’ari was arrested, a military statement said.

Mr Ya’ari had been actively involved in the seizure of the girls as well as the killing in May of a traditional leader, the emir of Gwoza, the statement added.

Mr Ya’ari has not yet commented on the allegations.

More than 2,000 people have been killed this year in attacks blamed on Boko Haram militants. BBC

 

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