At least 20 dead in suicide blast in Nigeria's Maiduguri: Vigilante, survivor

AFP , Monday 22 Jun 2015

At least 20 people were killed when a female suicide bomber detonated her explosives at a bus station in Maiduguri, northeast Nigeria, a civilian vigilante and a survivor said on Monday.

"We have sorted out 20 dead bodies and 50 others that were injured," said vigilante Danlami Ajaokuta and a survivor who escaped the blast near the city's fish market on Baga Road.

"We heard a loud explosion while we were preparing for afternoon prayers," he said.

"It happened right inside the motor park (bus station) attached to the fish market where labourers were sorting out rice."

Ajaokuta's account was corroborated by a local resident, who asked not to be identified for security reasons. He said he was using a nearby cash machine when the blast happened.

"I saw people running towards the scene of the blast," he added.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the explosion but Boko Haram extremists have frequently targeted civilians at markets and bus stations during their six-year insurgency.

Maiduguri has increasingly come under attack in the weeks since new President Muhammadu Buhari took office on May 29, vowing to wipe out the Islamists.

There have been four attacks in the city this month. Two have been by suicide bombers and one targeted a cattle market.

On June 3, an improvised explosive device left outside a motor mechanics' workshop killed 18 while on May 30, 26 people were killed in a suicide attack at a city mosque.

In all, some 181 people have been killed in Boko Haram attacks since Buhari's inauguration, according to AFP's count.

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