25th November, 2014
A suicide bomber suspected to be female attacked a crowded market in northeast Nigeria’s city of Maiduguri on Tuesday, moments after a bombing rocked the same spot, witnesses said.
“People rushed to offer assistance to the victims (of the first blast) and moments later a second explosion went off,” said Laminu Habib, who was in the targeted Monday Market and whose account was supported by two other witnesses.
Earlier, a bomb concealed in a rickshaw exploded in a crowded market Tuesday in the northeastern Nigerian city of Maiduguri, a stronghold of Islamist group Boko Haram, witnesses and a police officer said.
Police and rescue workers rushed to the scene. There was no immediate official information on the number casualties, although one witness, vendor Hajja Asamau, reported seeing “four people in the ground in a pool of blood”.
The attack targeted the popular Monday Market area and the sound of the blast could be heard around the city centre, with thick plumes of black smoke billowing out of the market, an AFP reporter said.
“A powerful bomb exploded at One Way road, adjacent (to) the Monday Market (area) around 11:00 am (1000 GMT) today,” said a senior police officer, who requested anonymity.
An explosion blamed on the Islamists at the same market on July 1 killed at least 15 people.
Market trader Usman Babaji told AFP the attacker concealed the latest bomb in a motorised rickshaw, which are popular throughout the country.
The explosion went off “in a heavily populated location”, Babaji said.
It was not immediately possible to estimate the casualties but the officer said police and fire fighters were at the scene trying to access those who may have been wounded.
There was no immediately claim of responsibility but Boko Haram has attacked Maiduguri dozens of times during its five-year uprising aimed at creating a hardline Islamic state in northern Nigeria.
The militant group was founded in Maiduguri more than a decade ago.
The city was once the epicentre of the conflict, with near-daily clashes between troops and suspected Islamist cells but some of the fighting has drifted to more remote parts of the northeast.
Maiduguri is the capital of Borno state, where Boko Haram is believed control more than two dozen towns and villages, which the group says are now part of an Islamic caliphate.